The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

“Atlanta” proves to be a great hit

Donald Glover has finally released his new project “Atlanta.” The lyrical genius, also known as Childish Gambino, plays a character named Earn Marks, a Princeton dropout struggling to make ends meet as he gets involved with his cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry), an upcoming rapper.

Glover not only stars as an actor but also creator, executive processor, writer and director. Like “Community,” a sitcom and comedy which Glover starred in, emphasised his role as a promising actor. Instead of playing a quirky, cocky college student, he is portraying a single parent in Atlanta who struggles to make ends meet with racial and economic issues in between.

“Atlanta’s” first two episodes, which aired Tues., Sept. 6 at 10 p.m., provoked conversation among many St. John’s students.

“Donald Glover puts an interesting comedic twist on the black culture that has largely impacted our society today,” says Kayla Williams.

“Yes, he accurately addresses the struggles and hardships that come along with being a rap artist, however he addresses it from different viewpoints: the artist, the manager, the family…” Williams continues.

“He is also at an advantage because he is an artist and a comedian himself; he allows us to see rappers as a jack of all trades, not just as lyrical geniuses.”

Unlike Alfred, who is known as “Paper Boi” the new hip-hop artist in the streets, he is reserved, ambitious and crafty when he needs to be.

“What happened to Princeton?” said Alfred, who was trying to decide if Earn should be manager. His father responded bluntly with, “Earn trained like the rest of us, but when he wants to do something he does it. On his terms.”

Not having a stable family dynamic drives him to creating a better life for his daughter.

His gig as a credit card advertiser was short-lived when he realized he could finally submerge himself in the music industry. There is much more to learn about Earn and his family in upcoming episodes. The scenes in “Atlanta” can be violent, symbolic and powerful.

“The show highlights racism, homophobia, mental health and police brutality,” adds Amber Kenya.

“Most of these problems are still sensitive topics.”

The second episode primarily focuses on mental health, low-income neighborhoods, jail systems and the full on struggle of life in Atlanta like Kenya mentioned. As mentioned in the New York Times: “[Atlanta is] a capital of hip-hop, but distinctively regional.”

Earn will stop at nothing to manage and promote Alfred’s work.

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