January 2, 2012
An Open Letter to Donald Glover

Dear Donald,

You don’t know me, but I know you. I want to take this opportunity to say that of every person I’ve ever looked up to, I think you’ve hurt me the most. You’re not different. You’re not unique. You just got lucky. It’s taken me until now to see that and it’s fucking heartbreaking.

I first encountered you, like the rest of the world in “bro rape” and you stood out. You were the one that everybody looked at and said ‘he’ll make it’. That was the first time I was jealous of you. Now I see that Derrick got extremely lucky. Those sketches are incredible and I won’t take that away from you, but you were the first group on YouTube. It was a platform begging for a sketch group and you scratched that itch. Well done, your timing was impeccable.

I went to see you at UCB when I was still in high school and you tore the place down. That was the second time I was jealous of you. You had a crowd of comedy kids laughing at you when we wanted so badly to be spiteful. You were great.

Then I heard you started writing for 30 rock. That was the third time I was jealous of you. I just could not comprehend how somebody so young could be writing for a show that I loved so much. How could he be writing those Tracy Jordan jokes? He’s just a kid. I heard the story of Amy Poehler telling Tina Fey about you and you getting an email from David Miner. It gave me hope. It meant that if you were a talented kid, then talented people find you and everybody gets to have fun.

You got Community and I became a fan. Dan Harmon became another idol of mine (one who has yet to disappoint me) and the whole show just seemed to fit. That was the fourth time I was jealous of you. You got to be on set with brilliant writers and actors and Chevy-fucking-Chase. Please, dude, tell me you asked him about Belushi and Aykroyd. Tell me you made him sit there and tell you every fucking thing he could remember from the year 1975. Tell me you bothered the shit out of him until he talked and you recorded it somewhere because that opportunity won’t ever come around again. You have no idea what I would give to sit down and just listen to any of those guys. I know he’s supposed to be a dick, but so am I. I just want to hear what it was like. Who made who break? I hope you asked him, because if you didn’t you’re an idiot. Anyways, Of course you were on a cool show that played with genre and you and Danny Pudi were the stand-outs. Of course you were.

I downloaded I Am Just A Rapper and it felt like we became friends. Like I was listening to a buddy of mine and I was impressed. I read about how you got Childish Gambino from a wu-tang generator— a move just nerdy enough for me to be enamored of it. I started telling all my friends about how one day you were going to blow up. You were going to be huge. You had a hit show, solid standup and you could rap. I even read D.C.’s book just because he was associated with you. It was pretty good.

You had a cool blog that wasn’t just about you, it was about things you liked. It was about what interested you, whether it was a pair of white shoes, or a particularly sexual cartoon. I almost always agreed with you and thought whatever you posted was great. You were my curator of cool. I looked up to you.

Culdesac was my anthem. I think the last time I checked, I’ve played “The Last” something over two hundred times. I always had those songs in my pocket and I know every word that fucking album. When I was pissed, i’d listen to “Fuck It All”. When I was happy, I’d listen to “Let Me Dope You” or “Do Ya Like”. It resonated with me. You had a voice that said, “Fuck it. I have to do this. I have to try because if I don’t I’ll never be happy. No matter what, nothing is more important than my ambition.” You articulated what I couldn’t. I made my decision then. It was my sophomore year of college and against all better judgement and advice, I made the decision to take the path less traveled. You pushed me over the edge and for that, I thank you.

I guess that is why I’m so disappointed by you now.

Camp sucked. It was a cool concept I guess, and I like the story on “That Power”, but you didn’t even write that. You outsourced the meaningful shit to talk about your love of asian women and shitty puns. Don’t get me wrong, if you did that for one song, I’d be right there with you and this post wouldn’t exist, but you didn’t. You did that for ten songs. You had nothing to say. You weren’t humble at the praise you’ve gotten, you weren’t thankful for your opportunities, you didn’t even give love to the people around you. Some people still think you make those beats, when without Ludwig you’d be super fucked. You wanted to have your cake and eat it too. You wanted to be the big baller that fucks any girl he wants, but you also wanted to be the ostracized nerd. You kept throwing punches at this vague idea of “rap” and how it was hard for somebody with feelings to exist in such a world, but the dude that outsold you by 600,000 copies that first week wasn’t gangster at all. In fact, one of the best songs on his album was about how much he loved his mom and his uncle. Just because you’re young and successful doesn’t mean you have to be a dick. On this album, you were a dick. You are so fucking lucky. Do you know how many kids want to be in your spot? I know you work hard. So do I. You got to that point where you started to take me for granted, and that sucks. You stopped being my friend and you just became another one of those guys that wants to rub in my face how much he has. Pitchfork annihilated you and they were right to do so. You made yourself seem worthless on that album. Your punchlines were offensive and stupid and not the good kind of offensive and stupid. Your dick jokes weren’t funny, they were about how cool you thought you were (I’m referencing: “I love my dick so much, they let a n**ga host the Woodies”). You were a shitty rapper and an even worse comedian. Camp sucked.

You stopped posting anything on your blog that wasn’t about you. You stopped posting on twitter. Your last stand up special wasn’t ready. You stopped caring about quality and fans and started to care about living the life that you thought you were supposed to.

Look at Louie. Granted, he has been in it longer than you have, but look at what he just did. He set an example. He showed the world that even rich and famous people can be good and reasonable and honest. Comedy can be worthwhile.

If you ever do see this, I’m sure you’ll just write me off as one of your “haters”, but fuck you, it’s my Internet too and I’ll make my opinion known. I know, what the fuck have I done? What the fuck do I know? You’re right. I don’t know much. All I know is that I used to really look up to you and now I don’t. I can’t trust my heroes anymore. That’s okay. I hope one day I delete this because you’ve changed my opinion. This was too long. No, fuck that, this was just long enough. I had to say that to you and it doesn’t matter if you hear it. Thanks for Culdesac, that was really great.

Sincerely,

Ben

  1. chronicills reblogged this from benorbison and added:
    this is how you write you care about an artist and tell him without “hating” exactly how you feel and don’t try to come...
  2. benorbison posted this