This is an amazing world Donald has created, but it is a bit abstract. Let’s see what we know so far, though.
Something, something Navigator:
- It all starts with “That Power” and “Camp”
- “Because The Internet” picks up from there
- The Callifax Collection Company
- THE BOY and the internet
- Fifteen years later
- Who is Abella Anderson?
- “Chapter” 4, FATHER and that damn company again
- The hospital, what does it mean?
- @twitter, and the gold molar
- Roscoe’s motherfucking wetsuit!
- Fate: THE BOY [Infinity Pool]
- In-N-Out, animal style
- … because the internet [well played]
This world Donald has talked about creating was born way back in 2011 on his debut album “Camp”, without us even being aware of it. The final track on the album, “That Power” features a large monologue spoken by Donald, or THE BOY, speaking about his experience with this girl whom he met on the camp. THE BOY is thirteen years old at this point.
And I think just after a point I’m just talking to lengthen the time where we live in a world where you haven’t said “yes” or “no” yet. And regrettably I end up using the word “destiny.”
When he runs out of things to say to this girl, he falls asleep, and wakes up at the pickup point where all the parents are collecting their kids. As he gets off the bus, the girls from the back of the bus run into THE BOY and mock him for what he said to the girl who he’d spent the bus ride home talking to. He expresses that he didn’t know the girl was friends with these other girls, because it appears as though when THE BOY was asleep, the girl he was talking to decide to share what he told her.
THE BOY states that he learned to cut out the middle man all the time and just tell everyone, because they’re going to find out somehow anyway. [Maybe this is maybe why we’re getting such a personal album from Donald in “Because The Internet”, because he is cutting out the middle man and just expressing his feelings and emotions through is music.] THE BOY finishes.
I wish I could say this was a story about how I got on the bus a boy and got off a man more cynical, hardened, and mature and shit. But that’s not true. The truth is I got on the bus a boy. And I never got off the bus. I still haven’t.
The album “Camp” seems to take place on a metaphorical camp. Rap Genius states that the first four tracks (“Outside”, “Fire Fly”, “Bonfire” and “All the Shine”) are a representation of his childhood, rise to success, rise to fame and realisation that it’s not all that it is cracked up to be.
THE BOY mentions that he finds his dad in the parking lot and he goes back home, but at the end of the monologue he states that he still hasn’t got off the bus. Maybe he did get off the bus at that point, but maybe there is something that stayed behind on the bus.
Also, remember how he learned to cut out the middle man? Instagram (navigate leftwards).
The [prologue of the] script picks up from the moment THE BOY (finally) gets off the bus.
A white bus opens its door and a flood of children run off laughing and screaming. After the initial burst, three girls get off laughing. After them, A LITTLE BOY steps off. He’s walking slow and somber.
This is definitely the bridge between “Camp” and “Because The Internet”. THE BOY finds his father in the parking lot. His father (revealed to be Rick Ross) picks him up in a limousine and takes him to their home, a mansion. This is the mansion that appears in “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons”. It belongs to the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh. The “Because The Internet” album was recorded in the mansion.
This company is featured in both “Because The Internet” and “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons” under the exact same circumstances. In “Because The Internet”, after THE BOY returns from camp, FATHER answers a phone call from the company. When they announce themselves, he immediately hangs up the phone on them. He does not want to talk to them.
In “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons”, THE BOY receives a call from the same company but he does not immediately hang up on them. Instead, he acknowledges that he knows who they’re looking for (FATHER), at which point they ask where they might find him.
DONALD: What month is it?
COMPANY: Uh, it is June I believe.
DONALD: Then he’s probably in the Northern Hemisphere somewhere.
THE BOY’s answer relates to something that happens at a later point, so I’ll come back to this.
Back home from camp, THE BOY eats some pop-tarts whilst he checks what’s going on in the world of the internet. He checks his email and opens an email from his friend FAM.
His friend “FAM” sent him something that says “this is you” with a link. The Boy clicks the link and a video of a woman blowing a horse comes up. The Boy watches the video for longer than you should watch a horse blowing video. He closes the video.
He then goes on HotNewHipHop.com and checks out a new song by ‘Rich Homie Quan’. The comment section appears to be more negative than positive, although the song is listed as “VERY HOT”. THE BOY comments and when he refreshes the page, the comments seem to snap back at him.
The Boy stares. Then types “fuck u niggers” in the comments.
He waits. He takes a bite out of his pop tart.
He refreshes the page. People immediately respond with “Fuck U”, “You wouldn’t say that to my face faggot”, and “LMFAO crackers b crazy”
The Boy smiles.
It appears THE BOY gets a thrill out of trolling, and he doesn’t care about what people say and he definitely doesn’t care what people send him (good one, FAM).
This is where “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons” and the script pick back up, following the prologue which takes places when THE BOY was 13. At this point, we assume THE BOY is 28 years old.
Due to the events which take place in the script, it is safe to assume that the events of “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons” takes place prior to the events of the script. There are several connections between the short film and the script at this point.
Abella Anderson’s character in “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons” is very ambiguous. She wakes THE BOY up at the beginning of the short film, and is constantly appearing around the house, but no one, not even THE BOY, knows who she is.
Take note, in the “3005″ lyric video, Abella Anderson is a cam girl and is in a private show with THE BOY.
In the script, THE BOY is having a conversation with ALYSSA whilst in Sweden (hey, remember that thing about the Callifax Collection Company?). She exclaims that she does not believe in small talk and asks him about past relationships.
ALYSSA: I don’t believe in small talk. What’s the longest relationship you’ve been in?
THE BOY: Five years.
ALYSSA: Wow. What happened?
THE BOY: I’m still in it.
THE BOY: She does private web shows. We’re not together. But it’s a relationship, for sure.
ALYSSA: I don’t get it.
THE BOY: I used to watch her online a while back. Then she quit and started doing private shows. Then it just started turning into talking. Mostly.
He mentions being in a relationship with a cam girl. The parallel between this conversation and the “3005″ lyric video makes it seem as though Abella Anderson’s character is the girl he is talking about. But then why doesn’t know/remember her in “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons”?
We assume that the short film takes place before the events of the script but we don’t necessarily know how long. For all we know, the short film could take place 5 years before the events of the script, but that seems unlikely. What seems more likely is that this a symbol of: no matter how much you interact with someone online, you never truly know who they are. [Shoutout to Jack Kinnett]. He’s been having this relationship that is not “real”, and so when she appears around the house in the short film, he doesn’t know who she is.
Something to do with the Callifax Collection Company has been mentioned twice above. It’s reasonably important. THE BOY answers the phone call and expresses that the person they’re looking for (FATHER) is somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. These phone calls go way back to the time of “Camp”, when FATHER would immediately hang up on the company when they would call.
After THE BOY wakes up in the hospital (more on that later), SWANK tells THE BOY that his father has died. Guess where?
His father died in Stockholm. A family member was needed. Didn’t realize that they were each other’s only family til this very moment. When you lose that, you basically lose most of your memories, at least the accuracy of your own memories.
Sweden. In the Northern Hemisphere. It appears FATHER was in Sweden for a while, or at least he was travelling when he died. THE BOY is called to travel there in order to collect his ashes (he wanted to be cremated). Where does ashes go? In an urn.
Donald has said that “I. Flight of the Navigator” was influenced by death. “II. Zealots of Stockholm” is a clear relation to Sweden (Stockholm is the capital city, duh!), and “III. Urn” is both a track about death but more specifically his FATHER.
Because THE BOY didn’t know anyone is Sweden, he met up with a girl whom he had been tweeting to (more on that later). When THE BOY went to get a drink, the girl takes the urn with his father’s ashes inside and takes them outside. THE BOY chases and catches her, wondering what the hell she is doing taking the urn.
THE BOY: What’s going on.
ALYSSA: Let’s get rid of it. It’s just bad for you.
THE BOY: You have a TON of nerve judging me and my father’s relationship, so much so, you just walk out with his ashes? I feel like what you’re doing is against the law, but much like the fact he was cremated before I arrived, I don’t know if it’s illegal. I’m still pissed though.
ALYSSA: We’re gonna do this together.
He pours the ashes out. Thus, when THE BOY says to the Callifax Collection Company that his father is in the Northern Hemisphere somewhere, it is foreshadowing this moment. He is pouring his father’s ashes away and they could drift off anywhere.
Remember that “Because The Internet” teaser trailer? “III. Urn” played in the background whilst THE BOY and the Swedish girl ALYSSA stared at each other. That is this moment.
This part of the script, “chapter” 4 (tracks “Death By Numbers”, “I. Flight of the Navigator”, “II. Zealots of Stockholm [Free Information]” and “III. Urn”), FATHER and the Callifax call are all connected.
After I came off tour, we went to Australia and I was just super depressed. I mean, I tried to kill myself. I was really fucked up after that, because I had this girl that I thought I was going to marry and we broke up. I didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing. I wasn’t living up to my standard, I was living up to other people’s standards, and I just said “I don’t see the point.” So that’s what we did after Australia. I rented a mansion, I invited over a bunch of people that I could trust like my brother, Fam—
Fiji brought up how the part in which THE BOY wakes up in the hospital could be parallel to the time when Donald attempted to take his own life. In the script, THE BOY pours a white powder into his drink and drinks it, which is the moment before he wakes up in the hospital.
The Boy pours Pelligrino into a wine glass. Then he continues to twist his metal weed grinder in his hand. He takes the top off the grinder and pours the white powder inside the glass. He drinks it, then sits on the foot of the bed and takes off his white T-shirt.
We love you Donald.
The beginning of the conversation with the nurse who comes in the room when he wakes up gives the sense that THE BOY is here because he attempted to take his own life.
WHITE GUY NURSE: Hello Mr.[EDIT]. How are you feeling?
THE BOY: Like I’m about to get talked to by someone about- (gestures) all this.
@thegoldmolar is the Twitter account of THE BOY, and it’s real, sort of.
The Boy checks his Twitter feed. Twitter name “You Are Unimportant – @thegoldmolar”.
Remember how THE BOY meets up with that girl in Sweden? Her Twitter handle: @hello_pity_ is real too (sort of).
The Boy didn’t really know anyone in Stockholm, but he also didn’t want to be in his hotel room with his father for a day. Even if he was just ashes. So he decided to search through his followers for someone from Sweden.
Some girl named “Hello_Pity_” Dm’d him back and they were supposed to meet up after all the whatever he had to do. Her profile bio said she was half french. She looked pretty in her avi: an inverted Hello Kitty. But that really doesn’t mean anything at all, especially since her instagram was blocked, which is something he’s learned not to trust at all.
THE BOY uses one of his dummy accounts to trick ALYSSA into thinking this dummy character and her had met at a club once, and they becomes friends on Facebook, allowing him to see her photos. If these two accounts are legit, in the sense that Donald created them for the purpose of the story (they’ve both shown up in late November), then who knows what other accounts are out there.
Prior to the announcement of the album, Donald tweeted and retweeted the term “Roscoe’s Wetsuit” a lot. At first, the term seemed kind of random and irrelevant, but looking at in the context of “Because The Internet”, a couple of ideas make sense. Early on in the script, there is a conversation between SASHA, a girl the boys meet at the beach, and THE BOY, that gives us a good idea of what it could mean.
SASHA: You goin in?
THE BOY: Don’t know yet.
SASHA: Then why’d you put on your wetsuit?
THE BOY: Everyone else was.
Notice how the script mentions “Roscoe’s Wetsuit” after SASHA asks THE BOY the question? Could it be a symbol of how THE BOY is unsure of his place (“unsure if he wants to go in the water, but in a wetsuit because everyone else is”) in life, just as he is unsure of the term which continues to be mentioned throughout the script. When THE BOY wakes up in the hospital, this is the conversation he has with the nurse.
WHITE GUY NURSE: You’re friends brought you in-
THE BOY: They’re not my friends.
WHITE GUY NURSE: I don’t think they’d like you saying that.
THE BOY: Doesn’t matter. It’s the truth. But also, they know. We’re not friends. There’s a mutual benefit to our relationship, but I can’t trust them for shit.
This kind of emphasises the point about THE BOY not really knowing his place in life.
The alternative is that it’s a symbol of how things on the internet affect people and cause people to “tweet” and “retweet” something they don’t truly understand. When the term was being thrown around on Twitter, no one knew what it meant, but people still tweeted and retweeted it nonetheless. [Props to severlyoverdressed] A few lines in the closing track “III. Life: The Biggest Troll [Andrew Auernheimer]” seem to support this.
Never forget this feeling, never gonna reach a million
Eventually all my followers realize they don’t need a leader
Stay on your own shit, fuck what these clones think
Just remember that you the shit, but act like it don’t stink
The line seems to imply that we don’t need to be tweeting and retweeting what others are saying. Donald (“the leader”) wants his followers to realise they don’t need him, and should “stay on their own shit” and ignore what the “clones” think/say/do.
I just get the information retweeted or say it sucks
For this line, Rap Genius sums it up perfectly: “He’s just passing on what others are saying. He’s just a vessel for culture. Instead of creating culture the internet just enables people to respond and pass on culture, rather than create it themselves.”
I think this is the best theory for what Roscoe’s Wetsuit is. That or THE BOY is actually called Roscoe and his wetsuit is fucking dope (/sarcasm).
Last thing on the wetsuit: on Tumblr’s IRL Childish Gambino feature, which features a real-life recreation of his characters bedroom, there is a wetsuit beside the bed. Interesting. Could Roscoe be THE BOY’s name? Just throwing it out there.
Really cool fact: if you put “Donald” [... you know] and “Bennett” [Chance's last name] (“Donald Bennett”) into this Wu-Tang Clan name generator (Donald used this one), you get: “Sixty Second The Baptist”. Then chuck “Roscoe’s Wetsuit” into the generator and you get: “Sixty Second The Baptist”. Dun dun duuuuuhn. [Props to Jesse Humphrey for reminding me on this]
The ultimate fate of THE BOY is not known for certain, we can only assume. The way the script ends make it seem as though THE BOY is shot by ‘DUDE 1′ when he enters back into the house.
Dude 1 turns to The Boy and sho
…(breath)…..(breath)………….(breath).. . . .
But what actually happened? It’s hard to tell. THE BOY loves to imagine different things (see below), so it could just be that, but that seems highly unlikely.
After accepting that he is going to die, THE BOY asks ‘DUDE 2′ if he can be drowned. He says that he has heard that there is a “wave of euphoria when you drown.” He follows up with, “supposed to be good.” THE BOY then looks out at the infinity pool and see’s his lifeless body floating in the water. At that point, it doesn’t say that he imagined it or thought of it, but he actually turned and saw his dead body in the pool. Weird, or maybe I’m wrong. You may remember this from the “Yaphet Kotto” album teaser released a while ago. Maybe the track was supposed to be on the album?
Savemonkey proposes that maybe the whole story of THE BOY is fake. At the beginning of the script, we’re told that THE BOY loves to troll people on the internet. Donald is playing THE BOY, and we are receiving everything from the album and the script through the internet. Maybe it’s all a troll? But that’s outside of this “world” (or maybe we are a part of the world too, oooooh). Looking inside the “world” maybe THE BOY is just simply trolling everyone with his blog, or with his imagination.
Man made the web, you don’t need a name
In the script, all we get is THE BOY or [EDIT]. They ain’t his name.
Every thought I had, put it in a box
THE BOY always shares his thoughts, like when he is thinking about drowning (as discussed above) and he turns and sees his body floating in the infinity pool. Maybe everything that’s happening are just his thoughts, maybe the ending didn’t actually happen and was just another thought he had. Also, “the box” is likely his computer/the internet [shoutout to Andrew Goach].
Trolling, trolling, trolling these niggas
… is he? At the end of the script, when the credits roll, Donald is sitting in a shop on his phone. Everything is white, so maybe it’s some kind of after-life, or maybe everything before this moment was an epic troll and he has just been chilling here the whole time …
The tracklist found on the physical copy of the album reads “life: the biggest troll [andrew auernheimer] feat. Donald Glover”.
I’m gone – now I’m back
Is there a switch between Donald Glover and Childish Gambino on the track?
Waking up in these places I don’t remember
Texts from people I never met, doors left open
(Who are you? Don’t do it. Who are you?)
I don’t know who I am anymore
Is Donald doing is one-two thing and then suddenly switching into Gambino, who then does his one-two thing and then switching back to Donald, who is then left wondering what the hell just happened? Maybe it’s the other way around. Is it coming to a point where he doesn’t know if he is Donald or Gambino?
You’re here now. You have to help me
You have to help me
I need you. You have to help me
You have to help me
You have to help me
Please help me
Please help me
Please help me
Is this THE BOY asking for help? If he was shot maybe someone has arrived who can help him? Maybe it’s just Donald/Gambino asking someone for help.
[Props to Steven Reyes]:
Maybe everything up to THE BOY’s suicide attempt actually happened, but everything after is a (drug induced) dream. Everything that happens in the story are his feelings, such as how he doesn’t think his “friends” are his friends, and how he and his father were not close, but when it came to saying goodbye to him in Sweden (pouring the ashes away), he wished he was closer to him. No matter how much money he had, no matter what friends (and girls) were around him, he always felt alone.
When he meets Naomi, maybe that’s his feeling of wanting to meet the right girl. All the other girls he had interacted with didn’t work out in some way. For example, the two girls who want him to show them his ["grape", heh] dick and despite him wanting to show them, was unable to “get it up”. With the cam girl, it seems as though that is a false ‘relationship’, which mirrors how THE BOY feels about his ‘friends’. Alyssa seems to be all of THE BOY’s repressed emotions that he doesn’t share with anyone. When he is with Naomi, he doesn’t feel completely alone any more, and maybe that is how he wants to feel (but can’t).
What if Childish Gambino is dead? Donald was poor [now rich, thanks to "Gambino"] and honest, whilst Gambino was rich [because the internet: raps on raps on raps man] and cocky. This album seems to portray: rich and honest. Those two belong to Donald, not Gambino. What if “III. Life: The Biggest Troll [Andrew Auernheimer]” is about how the real him needs to come out, and “help [him]“.
What’s really cool is how Donald is seemingly playing a character (THE BOY), whilst also being himself. For a long time, prior to the release of the album, Donald wore the same outfit as worn by THE BOY. Twitter has played a role in this, how Donald will go from an interaction like so …
@DonaldGlover: i just saw u @chancetherapper say u were the hardest working. i beat u in push ups son… p u s h u p s
@ChanceTheRapper: @DonaldGlover in the movie… Cause we were acting…. Nigga fuck you
@DonaldGlover: @chancetherapper fuck me? you want to settle this? who can make the best EP by tuesday? skype pushups?
@DonaldGlover: inte någonsin väcka mig #roscoeswetsuit
Which translates to “don’t ever wake me”. The original language is Swedish (of Sweden), where THE BOY visits in the script, yet, Chance’s interaction with Donald was definitely out of character (mentioning how it was a movie, and they were acting). Even in the short film “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons”, Chance mentions Donald by name. If “Clapping For The Wrong Reasons” is a 100% canon, then all the secrecy of THE BOY’s name is gone, so maybe it isn’t completely canon.
In the short film, at one point, someone enters the house and kicks their shoes off into a pile of other shoes. This is what THE BOY does in the script when he returns home from camp.
Props to Austin Griblin.
Let’s look at the album title again: “Because The Internet” …
b e c a u s e t h e i n t e r n e t . . .
See it yet?
What are we doing right now? What is this post all about? What is everyone on the internet talking about when it comes to “Because The Internet”? Maybe Donald kept things vague so that we can fill in the gaps and talk about it, making it greater than it ever had to be. When we think about this “world”, we may look at Donald like some amazing genius (not that he might not be), but what if he didn’t create them, but we did instead? This whole thing is a conversation because we’re all giving our opinions, our thoughts and we’re making a discussion out of it. Everything that is happening right here is …
because the internet.
Please, feel free to help me out and send any feedback or additional information to firstname.lastname@example.org.