Bloody contrasts: Childish Gambino brings us in with happy gospel sounds before bluntly exposing how crooked things are in the US.
Between carnage and happy-dancing schoolchildren, Childish Gambino addresses gun violence and terror in America. With his music video for “This Is America” the multi-talent shoots us from the jaw. He skilfully plays with opposites.
With wide grin and loose moves Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino dances to summer gospel tunes upper body free through an empty industrial hall. Suddenly he stops behind a handcuffed, masked man and shoots him in the head. Then hard bass breaks through the loose beats and Childish Gambino begins to rap: “This is America.” He criticizes gun laws and police violence. Then he smiles again, staring wide-eyed into the camera and dancing ahead. Until he shoots down a complete gospel choir. A clear reference to the Charleston Church Massacre in South Carolina, where nine black churchgoers were shot dead by a 22-year-old self-confessed racist. Surrounded by schoolchildren, burning cars, beating gangs and police sirens is danced again. He lights a joint and suddenly runs for his life.
The song premiered on Saturday 5 May at Saturday Night Live, right after that the video went online. By the way, the adlibs on the song come from Young Thug, 21 Savage, Migos’ Quavo, Rae Sremmurd’s Slim Jxmmi and BlocBoy JB. He already has more than 14 million views.