Skip to main content

PS Picks: The Many Talents of Donald Glover

PS Picks is a selection of the best things that the magazine's staff and contributors are reading, watching, or otherwise paying attention to in the worlds of art, politics, and culture.
Donald Glover attends an Esquire event in Hollywood on February 20th, 2018.

Donald Glover attends an Esquire event in Hollywood on February 20th, 2018.

This PS Pick originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive a print magazine subscription, early access to feature stories, and access to an ad-free version of


Donald Glover exists in any cultural sphere that he wants to. He is the emotive funk singer and the peacocking lyricist. He is the broke, Princeton University dropout hustling his way into the Atlanta music scene and the swaggering interstellar smuggler. Basically, Glover can travel: from your headphones to your screens to the pages of a fashionable magazine. Example of the last instance, earlier this month Bijan Stephen penned a rangy profile of the polymathic creator for Esquire. Throughout the piece Stephen digs down to uncover the personality that underlies the abiding charisma within all of Glover's iterations: Earn, Gambino, Calrissian, whomever. I'm not sure the profile quite gets there, but it does contain a quote that touches on an essential aspect of Glover's cultural power: "Black people do not have the narrative over their story. It's always been written by somebody else." As a writer, performer, and all-around talent, Glover embodies the artistic power of putting those narratives back in the hands of the people who've lived them, and perhaps that's why he thrives anywhere he wants to be.