Donald Glover from NBC comedy series "Community" shocked the Internet the week before last when he told AllHipHop.com that he, under his rap moniker Childish Gambino, had signed with indie label Glassnote Records (Phoenix, Mumford & Sons).
"There's a tremendous sense of rock'n'roll about him, an irreverence and an authenticity," Glassnote founder/president Daniel Glass says of Gambino. "He fits in with our roster because he's alternative."
The courtship started in March when the rapper hosted the mtvU Woodie Awards and then impressed Glass with his career vision at the event's afterparty. A few weeks later, Glass watched Gambino perform at New York's Bowery Ballroom. Talks heated up earlier this summer after Gambino visited with the Glassnote staff at Bonnaroo.
"He liked our approach, which is very touring-intensive," Glass says. "Secondly, it's about how progressive he's been online: inclusive of his fans and very liberal with giving away music. He knows his audience."
Gambino's first Glassnote album, Camp, is slated for early November. It will be sold worldwide in digital, CD and vinyl versions. Best Buy and Target have also reached out to Glass about the release. The project's lead single is yet to be determined.
Gambino will attend his first promotional event as a Glassnote artist on Sept. 15 when he performs at the Coalition for Independent Music Stores conference in Denver. Glassnote is simultaneously planning to showcase the rapper during the CMJ Music Marathon (Oct. 18-22) in New York. Gambino has also booked dates through March, including an opening slot on traveling hip-hop festival Rock the Bells.