By Maurice Bobb
Childish Gambino released the director’s cut of his short mockumentary, “Clapping for the Wrong Reasons” this week, with appearances from actress Danielle Fishel (Topanga from “Boy Meets World”), Abella Anderson, Chance The Rapper and Trinidad Jame$.
In the 24-minute clip, Gambino is awaken by a mysterious nymph (Anderson) in an expansive hilltop mansion in the Pacific Palisades, then curves a bill collector on the phone, eats cereal by the pool, nods his head to strange beats and walks viewers through the rest of a typical day in the life of an actor-turned-rapper who is recording his new album. There are studio session scenes, pithy conversational scenes and, oddly, a scene where Jame$ plays Chance in a heated game of Connect Four.
The rented mansion in question is referred to as “The Temple,” where surreal shenanigans occur and, according Chance’s interview with Dazed and Confused magazine, the rules are clear: “No shoes. No Tweeting or Instagramming. Work starts at 10am.”
One of the more poignant moments of the film is the “sofa cypher,” where Gam recites lyrics acapella for approval: “I’m an angel with the agony of flame/feathers growing at the mention of my name” and “Dance around the campfire buttnaked blowin’ trees/gives a single f--- if somebody sees, I’m free.”
This movie is mostly a behind-the-scenes look at Gambino’s creative process, but it’s also a cinematic dedication to the loss of his friend and audio engineer Ruben Rivera, who's Twitter account somehow remains active and supportive of Gambino.
“the short film is in memory of a close friend i lost this year. @scorpioruben #rip,” Gambino tweeted.
— Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) August 16, 2013
Rivera's account replied to Gambino, thusly: @DonaldGlover My casket has great internet. Congrats on the film. I want my tooth back !!
@DonaldGlover My casket has great internet. Congrats on the film. I want my tooth back !!
— Ruben Rivera (@scorpioruben) August 16, 2013