Childish Gambino Looked Back On Getting Booed While Opening For Kid Cudi Early In His Music Career

It might sound weird to think about now, but before Donald Glover was the celebrated artist he is today, he used to struggle to get any positive feedback on his work at all. In fact, he used to get booed. In a new profile in GQ, the artist alternatively known as Childish Gambino recalled a particularly hairy incident during his early career when an opening set for Kid Cudi went left.

“At the time I had a full band and a violinist,” he recalled. “I just kept turning to the band and telling them, ‘Next song! Next song!’ I put on a really intense show through the boos.”

Of course, that was a long time ago. Donald, who recently revealed he wasn’t quite ready to retire the Gambino persona just yet, has been receiving praise for his show Atlanta, as well as a related series, Swarm, he co-created with Atlanta writer Janine Nabers. He’s been Grammy nominated and has landed a string of plum roles, from Lando in Star Wars spinoff Solo to Simba in the Lion King remake.

He also intimated to GQ that a return to stand-up could be in the offing as well. He says this was encouraged by Chris Rock, who asked him, “‘Why aren’t you doing this sh*t?’” It looks like his tenacious desire to overcome negative reception is still intact.