Relaxing before his Saturday mid-afternoon set at Coachella, Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, revisits a debate that he had earlier with his team about when to put out his new mixtape. “We were discussing on the bus whether or not to release it in a couple of hours,” the 28-year-old actor-rapper, who is wearing a ZZ Top Eliminator cut-off, tells Rolling Stone. Glover opted against releasing the tape during the fest – and at press time, it has yet to hit the Web – but he says it’s only a matter of time before he drops his new material. “It will be coming out extremely soon,” Glover says. “Like, extremely soon.”
Glover is best known for his role as Troy Barnes on NBC’s Community, but he’s also developed a legion of new-school hip-hop fans thanks to his debut album, Camp, released last year through the indie label Glassnote. According to Glover, the new mixtape will further expand his musical horizons. “Mixtapes are experiments,” says Glover, who recorded 25 tracks for the project. “Music is like weightlifting. I really want to get good and better at it, so I’m taking this as a dance with the audience.”
A virgin to Coachella as both an attendee and performer – he once visited the Palm Springs area with an ex-girlfriend, but that’s about it – Glover ensured that his festival debut would make an impact by bringing out fellow cult-favorite rappers Kenrick Lamar and Danny Brown. “Better memories this time,” he says wryly.
There’s just one catch: Glover is recovering from a broken foot that he suffered during a show in Tampa last month, so for now, at least, he must wear a cast boot while performing. But judging from his hyperactive set, it appears he isn’t fazed by the injury. “I can get way more active with the boot,” Glover says. “The boot is what keeps me safe. I was kicking stuff and jumping around.” The only downside? Says Glover, “It’s not gonna get you laid.”