This edition of EffThatGuy is a bit more personal than the others, and thus, a bit meatier.
Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Donald. He lived life straddling the fence between black and white culture, never quite fitting in with either. But Donald had a dream, he had goals and every intention of becoming the star he knew himself to be. Little did little Donald know, that in the process of getting out his dreams he would ruin my fucking life.
There was a time when I lived my life straddling that same fence, aimlessly wandering, wondering when anyone besides my siblings would be able to relate to me. I got ridiculous comments on my hair, the fact that I have a dad, my speech patterns, the fact that I wasn’t mixed but still “like white people stuff” – everything that my white friends viewed as atypical for a black girl. I was blessed with two incredible older siblings, and the three of us lived in our own world where our love of indie music and film, our unbroken family and our ability to enunciate didn’t make us a novelty. It was a painful way to grow up, but I appreciated the perspective it gave me and so would not have traded it for anything.
Despite how awkward and awful it was feeling like an outsider pretty much everywhere I went, I was somewhat content to go through my life believing that 1) Black guys found me attractive, but too bizarre to relate to and so would not date me, and 2) That the only black guy who liked the same things as me was my brother, so I would probably end up in an interracial relationship (which I couldn’t give less of a f%$! about but comes with an awful set of politics in the black community).
And then one day about a year ago my friend played me a song by Childish Gambino, and MY MOTHERF@#!ING WORLD WAS SHATTERED.
-“Who the hell is this?!”
-“WHO THE FUCK IS THIS MIRACLE GOD SINGING AND RAPPING MY LIFE TO ME, RODNEY?!?!”
I felt like Roberta Flack, and Childish Gambino was singing my life with his words.
And it didn’t end there. Turns out that this was someone I was already crazy about. Donald Glover, actor and comedian. Not only did he already have three albums and two mixtapes out, thereby shaming my inner hipster, but they all echoed my life back to me. I could write a few quippy, fun paragraphs talking about this man’s accomplishments, but they’re astounding so I’m just going to list them out instead:
- Award-winning writer. He wrote for 30 Rock immediately after graduating from NYU (my dream school, it’s a long story why I didn’t actually go to school there)
- Member of sketch comedy group Derrick Comedy, creators of Mystery Team, one of the funn(i)est movies made in the last 10 years
- Stand up comedian
- Actor (plays Troy Barnes on Community, the funniest show on television)
- Prolific Musician (see above and also THIS AMAZING SHIT)
- FASHION ICON
He’s only 28. And then he has lyrics like this:
Yes, I’m drinking whiskey
Baby, I am gone tonight
NBC is not the only thing I’m comin’ on tonight
Now sure, that’s nasty, but it’s also so damn clever. Cleverness is my greatest aphrodisiac. That and being upfront about being sexual, so my clothes were halfway off the first time I saw him perform this song. And then he follows it up with lyrics like this:
I am feeling more alone than I ever have felt before
I wanna pick up the phone, ask my dad how to handle it
But what will happen when my dad’s not there to answer it?
I could write about all the hot lyrics he has about girls and sex, but in reality, it’s lyrics like these that make me wanna jump his bones. Who can’t relate to that lyric? And what’s hotter than someone, without provocation, admitting to something that is resoundingly true for you as well?
Just to drive home how much he fits the description of my dream guy, he does this thing with his teeth when he talks that I’ve eternally had a thing for. I felt like Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic meeting the man with one green eye and one blue the first time I saw him speak.
So yeah he’s super successful and intelligent and likes all the same things as me which I thought was impossible. He’s exposed but also not afraid to be goofy and ridiculous. Not only is he everything I wanted and thought couldn’t exist he’s, like, KING OF IT ALL. He turned my world upside down, I can’t set it straight and I can never have him. Great, so he’s ruining my life. And then I saw him live.
Congratulations, Childish, on your incredible new album, Camp, out tomorrow. But seriously, EFFTHISGUY.
But Gambino, just in case you were wondering, I’m a black girl with natural hair who keeps up with her tumblr. So get at me.