Donald Glover — formerly of NBC’s Community, currently rapping under the pseudonym Childish Gambino — chatted with Vice about his new short film, Clapping for the Wrong Reasons, in which he, or at least his character, admits to having a homosexual encounter:
I just wanted people to get across something that they don’t normally talk about, and why aren’t they talking about it. I mean, I feel that way: why am I pretending to be Troy? Why am I rapping about puns? When actually, I’m afraid that my parents are gonna die or I’m afraid that I’m going to be Tyrese [Gibson]. Those feelings are the types of things that connect us, not showing the car you drove or the stack you have. I fully expected people to be like, “Fuck this movie, it sucks. Fuck this guy, he’s pretentious.” But I just said fuck it, let me tell the story of how one time I kissed a boy. Am I gay? I don’t know, maybe. But the maybe is what’s really connecting us.
Glover also sounds off on Macklemore, expressing his admiration for the “Same Love” rapper because he “stands for shit”:
You can say what you want about Macklemore, but he stands for shit. That’s what made him huge. You know how easy it would be for people to just disregard him and say, “Bye Macklemore, you’re Psy now”? It would’ve been very easy if he didn’t have something to stand behind. He’s doing the dopest shit. He’s giving gay rights speeches right now.[…]
Exactly. He acknowledges that [he’s a straight white man]. He’s self-aware. I know it may seem like a ploy, especially because he’s a straight white male, but that’s genuinely him. Most of the time, for a black woman to get shit done, you have to be one in a gazillion, you have to be Oprah. And even then you need a rich white dude to OK it. Most of the time when we see some racist shit, we can’t speak up. But a guy like Macklemore can.
Though “Same Love” was initially heralded as a marriage equality anthem, some criticized the Seattle, Washington emcee for seemingly capitalizing on a de rigueur cause, including queer black rapper Le1f. In a series of since-deleted tweets, Le1f not only criticized Macklemore for co-opting the marriage equality struggle, but also stealing his beat from the Brooklyn rapper’s “Wut” for “Thrift Shop.”