- By Jillian Curran, MTV Insights
From the moment Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino stepped on the Summer Stage at Central Park last Monday, he refused to be categorized. One minute hard-hitting rap, the next an old school R&B croon. “This is not a rap show, this is a black rock show!” he announced mid-show (over an accapella re-mix of Adele), only to reverse his verdict in the encore.
Actor/comedian/rapper, he exudes what we at MTV Research call slashitude…as in “I’m a DJ/executive assistant/food truck CEO.” Even his name seems like an oxymoron wrapped inside an enigma.
One creative Millennial we interviewed in our study that coined "slashitude," Marat Shaya describes it, “When I’m asked what I do, I say exactly what I’m good at… I say that I’m a video editor, an event planner, a photographer…but the older generation always wants to know my title.”
Another panelists Micah Spears says, “Now you can be anything…you don’t have to go to college and get a diploma that says you did 'this thing' you can now create your own identity, and be 'these things'.”
Childish Gambino personifies the generation in a fascinating way. He is at once consciously playing with who and what he is, and letting us in on the game…polymathing with the rules in a way that almost invents the genre in real time.
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