Donald Glover’s Atlanta Provides New Perspective on the Rap Industry and Being Black

One of the best new series of the year recently premiered on FX, the critically-acclaimed original comedy/drama Atlanta. The series follows Earnest “Earn” Marks (Donald Glover), an unsatisfied airport salesman who tries to manage his cousin Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles (Brian Tyree Henry), an up-and-coming rapper. Together with Darius (Keith Stanfield), Alfred’s stoner best friend, the three attempt to navigate Atlanta’s rap scene while simultaneously dealing with issues such as police brutality, drug dealing, and race.

The show is the brainchild of Donald Glover, who got his comedic start as a 30 Rock writer before breaking out as an actor on Community. Many also know Glover by his rapper alias Childish Gambino, whose most recent album Because the Internet was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2015.

Glover describes his show as providing an alternative perspective on his home town of Atlanta. “I felt like I just knew there was a hunger for Atlanta s— like that,” Glover explained in an interview with Business Insider, “but nobody had really figured out how to sell it. And I was like, I know how to sell it. It needs to just feel like you’re black, you know?”

Atlanta’s first two episodes aired back to back on September 6th, receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. IGN called it, “a comedic slow burn, but it’s one worth the investment.”

Glover explained in an interview with The Daily Beast that his pride in the show didn’t stem from its reception, but rather from its honesty. “The things that people are most attracted to online are the things that are the realest, the most honest. We tried to do that on the show because I feel like that’s a part of being black that people don’t see.” Atlanta will air its fourth episode on FX on Tuesday at 10 pm.

Image Source: FX/Atlanta