Cover Story: Childish Gambino
Childish Gambino has always been a somewhat enigmatic figure in rap circles. When the comic actor Donald Glover first announced that he'd embarked on a music career, many hip-hop heads wrote him off as some sort of elaborate troll scheme or worse yet, a part-time sucka. You can't blame them—his rap name was a bit unusual to say the least and he made no apparent attempt to act "trill." Although some critics dismissed his 2011 album Camp, (a Pitchfork reviewer rated it just 1.6 out of 10) his tour stops were invariably packed, and he won the respect of serious MCs like Danny Brown and Schoolboy Q who performed and collaborated with Gambino. Before the release of his latest album, Because The Internet, Glover announced that he would appear in few episodes of Community this year, signaling a shift toward music. (But he's hardly abandoned his acting career—in fact Because The Internet may be the first rap album ever released with a full script, one scene of which you can watch below.) The tipping point came when Gambino stopped by the "Sway in the Morning" show and dropped a hellacious freestyle over Drake's "Pound Cake" beat. Those bars he spit that day served notice that Gambino had stepped his lyrical game up to new levels. Those who chose to dismiss him would do so at their own peril.
Cover Story: Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum is not your average everyday sex symbol. A trained opera singer who's been on stage since she was a child, she's grown up to become both a singular recording artist (her latest album, A Sentimental Journey, featured classic American standards from the '20s) and a serious actress so committed to her craft that she's willing to do whatever's necessary to bring her character to life. In the case of Fiona, the diligent daughter who holds the Gallagher family together on the acclaimed Showtime series Shameless, that means serious domestic drama as well as plenty of steamy sex scenes. And Rossum would be the first to point out that she always reveals more than her body; she also bares her character's soul.