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Childish Gambino tackles American issues in new music video


Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino gets political with a powerful new music video that has taken social media pages by storm. The video gained more than 14 million views in less than 24 hours and people are experiencing many mixed emotions when it comes to the content in the music video.

Glover had an eventful weekend as he hosted popular tv show, “Saturday Night Live” and was featured as the musical guest as his R&B alter ego Childish Gambino. Gambino preformed two new songs titled “Saturday” and “This is America.”

Soon after his performances on SNL the music video for the song, “This is America,” was released and created major buzz. The video, directed by Hiro Murai, is packed full of messages left to the viewers interpretation. In the video, a shirtless Glover can be seen dancing and making odd faces as a distraction to the chaotic violence happening all around him.

The video takes on many relevant political factors including the gun violence phenomenon in America. Disturbing murders occur in the video, but the guns are treated more carefully than human lives. For instance, after Gambino killed a handcuffed man, he hands the gun carefully to a child. The child takes the gun gently with a rag as if it’s the most precious thing in the world. Showing that guns have more importance than the “black man’s” life as reference to the lyrics of the song. Obviously, this is a strong statement on the current gun violence debate in America.

Other factors implying the gun violence debate in the video include, police brutality, media misdirection, and what people are really paying attention to in America. All of these images can be seen behind Gambinos nonstop dance moves accompanied by African American school students following Gambinos every move.

Singer SZA is also in the intense music video sitting on a car near the end of the video. It is safe to say that this video requires more than one watch, and an open mind to see what the artist’s point truly is.

The internet quickly worked together to dissect the music video. Below is a list of what you may have missed in “This is America”:

  1. Gambino does a pose in the video while shooting a man which creepily resembles the “original Jim Crow.” @NaiyaDuckett tweeted, “Childish Gambino had me shook once I noticed this stance in his ‘this is America’ video and the lyrics.”
  2. The pants that Gambino wore in the video were traced back to “basics of Confederate army uniforms.” @boolin_metro tweeted, “Can we talk about how @donaldglover is wearing confederate army pants.”
  3. A clear as day image of a Bible verse showed up in the background, almost going completely unnoticed due to Gambino’s dancing in the foreground. @KarenCivil tweeted the verse, “‘And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on his was Death, and Hell followed with him.’- Revelation 6:8”
  4. There was a graphic scene which touched on the Charleston Massacre from 2015. @KaniJJackson tweeted, “This scene reenacts Charleston shooting. Black people praising Lord killed for no reason…”
  5. A very subtle yet disturbing suicide message. @siriouslyyy tweeted, “No one caught the fact that at 2:13, a man jumps to his death. It shows how we don’t care about suicide in America, yet are all in when it’s a dance/trend. This is America.”
  6. A lot of modern rappers and their famous ad-libs were included in the song. @_mikepearson tweeted the ad-libs he heard.
  7. @vickyslyth tweeted about Gambino’s odd faces, “his face contorts and he squints one of his eyes, looking just like Uncle Ruckus, a character from ‘TheBoondocks,’ and elderly black man who thought he was white and hated black people.”
  8. At the end of the video, Gambino demonstrates what being a black man in America is like. @TouchtheSky1911 tweeted, “The ending of the video though?! Even with all the beauty he may bring to the world through his art, he is still just a black man running for his life. #ThisIsAmerica.”

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