Low Key


Let's Talk 'Guava Island,' Where Donald Glover Meets Bob Marley (and Rihanna's There, Too)

Season 1, Ep. 28

Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) lures us to the beautiful, fictional "Guava Island" for his new Amazon film of the same name, and we're delighted to be there.

On this week's episode of the Low Key Podcast, we talk about the politics of Guava Island -- the place and the film -- as well as our thoughts about Glover's work overall, especially FX's "Atlanta." We also talk about how we wish Glover's "Guava Island" co-star, Rihanna, had a little more to do, and why Red (Nonso Anozie) is such a good villain.

"Guava Island" is the story of a singer who dreams of putting on a festival to bring joy to the people he loves. It reminds us a little of Bob Marley's 1976 "Smile Jamaica" concert -- which almost got Bob Marley killed. Two days before the performance, would-be killers shot Bob Marley in the chest and his wife Rita Marley in the head. They also shot his manager, Don Taylor, and band employee Louis Griffiths. Miraculously, everyone survived, and Marley put on a legendary concert that began with the song "War."

The story of Bob Marley surviving the assassination attempt is the subject of Marlon James' novel "A Brief History of Seven Killings," winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize. It has inspired a TV series which will soon appear on Amazon -- the same place that brought us Guava Island.

More Episodes


Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado

Season 1, Ep. 70
In this episode we explore Netflix's Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado, about a Puerto Rican TV astrologer who rose from humble beginnings to become a sequin-caped inspiration to millions.With his distinctive look, aura of mystery — especially about his sexuality — and ability to blend many religious beliefs into a medley of optimism, Walter Mercado gave hope to the hopeless — until an ugly legal dispute yanked him from the air and cost him control of his own carefully cultivated image.:45: Our late-night infomercial memories3:00: Is the Michael Jordan-approved The Last Dance real journalism? Is Walter Mercado getting the Michael Jordan treatment?5:45: "Celebrities nowadays are derivatives of celebrities back in the day."5:50: How Walter Mercado was like Michael Jackson and Prince7:05: About that psychic phone line...7:50: How is Walter Mercado different from a televangelist?8:50: "You just can't swindle a swindler"10:00: Let's talk about Walter Mercado and his manager's relationship11:45: Zodiac signs12:40: "What's the difference between a Walter Mercado and a Tony Robbins?"15:00: Tim has the same religious beliefs as Walter Mercado: "No one has a monopoly on God"18:00: "He had a much better life than most people have"24:00: A Billy Dee Williams story (and here's the background on the gender-fluid story)27:00: Another excellent famous-person story30:55: "The only person I ever saw solve racism was Prince"31:50: "Netflix, again, coming through on the diversity point before it was fucking cool. ... They've been on this train."33:15: Netflix's $120 million donation to HCBUs36:00: "I have an appreciation for any man that dresses up like a wizard"Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado is now streaming on Netflix.