"Guava Island," a new 55-minute film starring Donald Glover and Rihanna, was released on Saturday as a temporary free stream on Amazon, while Glover's headlining as Childish Gambino took place at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The mysterious project, teased for months, shows Glover as Deni, a singer hoping to bring together the mystical island of Guava with a music festival while Rihanna plays his girlfriend Kofi and starred in a festival fictional place and its precious blue silk. Nonso Anozie ("Game of Thrones") and Letitia Wright ("Black Panther") also appear.
The film was written by Glover's brother Stephen and director of his longtime collaborator Hiro Murai, who also had the camera behind for "Atlanta" and "This Is America". After being premiered at Coachella's site on Thursday and the Childish Gambino show on Friday night, "Guava Island" was released on Saturday at 12:01 pm (Pacific Timelight Time) for 18 hours, becoming exclusive to Amazon Prime
Shot in Cuba and inspired by the Brazilian thriller epic "City of God" and Prince's "Purple Rain", "Guava Island" does not contain much new music by Childish Gambino – or any Rihanna's vocals The film opens with an airy, unpublished number by Glover ("When the world ends / I think I want to die with you") and contains elements of another song with the lyrics: "Maybe the sky will fall tomorrow, but one is there Certain babies / we are running out of time.
It also includes alternate versions of Childish Gambino singles like "Summertime Magic" and "Feels Like Summer" as well as "Saturday" which Glover debuted live on Saturday night "(God, these 9 to 5 kill me just keep going, "he sings). In one scene in a factory, another character tells Deni that he hopes to save enough money to get to America. "It's different there," says the man. "I've heard that people are their own bosses."
Deni replies, "This is America. Guava is no different from any other country and adds, "America is a concept, and wherever you have to make someone rich to make you rich is America." He then performs a choreographed dance to the song, which reflects some of the music videos gave its own festival, Pharos – did not make a show out of "Guava Island", though he incorporated tropical imagery and sounds into his set. For an unpublished song, he cleared a section in the crowd to scream over a cacophonic burst of complex drum rhythms bathed in almost apocalyptic red lights. He also played the still unpublished track "Human Sacrifice", which debuted during the Grammy Awards in February in a Google ad.
Glover was overwhelmed by emotions on stage while talking about the death of his father and rapper Mac Miller and Nipsey Hussle. "What I have to realize is all we really have is memories at the end of the day," he told the crowd. "All we really are is like data – you pass it on to your children, you pass it on to your friends and your family."
"When we are here," Glover added, "feel something and continue to give it up."