On December 5, 2014, musician Childish Gambino was nominated for two Grammys, for his album Because the Internet (Best Rap Album) and song “3005” (Best Rap Performance). One week later, on December 12, FX ordered a pilot for actor Donald Glover’s comedy Atlanta. A month later, on January 13, the premiere date for the sixth — and “final” — season of Community was announced (March 17 on Yahoo Screen), without the character of Troy.
Amid all of this, I was dropped off by a cab at a house on a winding street in the hills of a neighborhood Google Maps calls Glassell Park in Northeast Los Angeles. Inside this house there was first a quiet dog and then three or four or six people, relaxing or recording music. Past them, a door, and past that door, an outside deck. On that deck, a table, and beyond that table, in the neighbor’s yard, a second dog that was not quiet.
At that table on the deck beyond the house on the hill off the winding street, Donald Glover and I sat and spoke. Twenty minutes in, I turned on the recorder. The second dog — the neighbor’s dog, the loud one — barked the entire time.
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