Donald Glover has been on an amazing run over the past few years, from releasing critically-acclaimed album “Awaken, My Love!”, to his roles in upcoming Star Wars movies and viral SNL sketches, the man is a multi-tasking madman.
Returning back to music, Glover under his moniker “Childish Gambino”, has released new single “This Is America”, which is just an awesome track in itself, but paired with its now controversial and widely praised video, its a grenade with the pin out flying through mid-air towards the media, the president… in short, its bloody wonderful.
Though the lyrics may appear asinine at first, and the addition of infamous ‘mumble’ rappers like 21 Savage and Young Thug rhyming almost reinforce the ‘standard trap lyric’ formula, couple this song with the video and it takes on a new meaning, a scathing sarcasm, with some discerning that Glover’s freakily un-natural facial expressions and dancing performance is akin to the painted on expressions of white minstrel performers portraying black people in the early days of vaudeville.
On a dime, Glover (and the beat itself) turns from cheery and upbeat to dark and twisted, as at one point he suddenly pulls a rifle out and butchers a black choir, and throughout the background we see people running for their lives, jumping out of windows, being arrested, fighting etc. However, despite all of this, the focal point of the video is Donald and a group of care-free school-children dancing, the message seemingly being to look beyond what is being shown to you.
Last year it was Jay-Z’s “Moonlight”, this year its Gambino’s with “This Is America.”