Donald Glover’s newest project hit primetime TV six weeks ago and it’s unreal. Set in Georgia’s capital, Glover’s Atlanta explores the often unglamorous reality of trying to make it as a rapper or manager. Centered around Ern (Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover) and his cousin/aspiring rapper Paper Boy (Brian Tyree Henry) it shows how hard it can be to just hit a lick and rap to make it financially.
Atlanta is arguably one of the most accurate shows related to hip-hop, the grind and the various issues present in Black communities in the United States. Not only that, it examines complicated family dynamics and the way one tries to juggle it all – the hustle, caring for your child, and still trying to have time for the people you love. So often we only see the lavish life a star lives after they make it, but rarely do we see their lives, the lives of those around them, and the struggle associated with trying to make it big.
In the first episode of the first season, we are confronted with a shocking death immediately, which leads us down a path to see the very flawed judicial system in Atlanta and alike communities. The show also brings up other important issues, like mental health and gun violence. As new episodes air, Atlanta delves deeper into each of these topics, building onto the social justice themes the viewer is presented with in the first episode.
In that way, this is one the realest portrayals of the life of being a rapper and of Atlanta to ever be created – a.k.a. if you’re not watching it, you definitely should be.
While the show is six episodes in, it’s not too late to start binging – Atlanta takes you into a different world, and truly represents the challenges that come with starting out in the music industry. The seventh episode of Atlanta airs tonight at 10 PM on Fox.