Watch Donald Glover Rap Over AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’
Actor Donald Glover, aka rapper Childish Gambino, is probably best known as the creator and star of the TV comedy series Atlanta, which starts its second season tonight.
He’s also playing the young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming movie Star Wars: Solo. And in a new clip that just surfaced, Glover seems to be an AC/DC fan as he raps over the band's classic “Back in Black." You can watch the video above.
The clip, which was shot in 2004, was uploaded by Glover’s friend and collaborator Chaz Kangas, who recalled in a blog post how the pair met in a dorm hall of New York University.
“During that first week of college when you meet everyone and you condense yourself into a soundbite, I felt most comfortable with ‘I’m Chaz, I’m a Cinema Studies major and I rap,'" he explained. "Soon I was noticing more and more, ‘Have you met Donald? … He raps too’ responses. We finally met in really quick passing between classes and had one of those … rapid-fire dialogues that happen in the hustle and bustle of college life. Later that night, during my dorm’s nightly ‘Basement Jam’ sessions … someone noticed Donald and I were both in the same place and invited us to rap together. Some of the guys playing weren’t too familiar with hip-hop beats, so we asked if they knew ‘Back in Black.’ They did, and so this happened.”
The 1980 song has proved popular with rap artists over the years, with WhoSampled.com reporting it has been used more than three dozen times. AC/DC haven't always liked the results. They forced the Beastie Boys to remove their 1985 track “Rock Hard” after the band claimed the Beasties didn't have permission to use the sample.
Listen to Beastie Boys' 'Rock Hard'
"I didn't think they wanted to sample ['Back in Black')]" guitarist Angus Young said in a later TV interview. “I think they wanted to steal it. It's like my brother Malcolm [Young] said, 'What they do is cruel.' I mean, if you give it to them, then you need to give it to everyone.”
Boogie Down Productions didn't run into the same problem for their 1987 song “Dope Beat”; neither did Sean Cunningham, who remixed Eminem’s “My Name Is” in 2007.
Listen to Boogie Down Productions' 'Dope Beat'
Listen to Eminem's 'My Name Is' Remix
“Back in Black,” the title track from AC/DC's first album featuring new singer Brian Johnson, who replaced the late Bon Scott, was designed as a tribute to their late colleague. It regularly appears on lists of the greatest rock songs of all time.