For those buried in work the last 48 hours or laid up all sunday after a hard Cinco De Drinko weekend, Childish Gambino dropped some heat (pun intended) over the weekend. The day of his musical performance on SNL, where he debuted new songs Saturday and This is America; Gambino dropped the audio and music video links to This is America.
This is America is as fantastic as the video. Producers Doomsday, with Ibra Ake, and Fam Rothstein, of Wolf + Rothstein, create an intense production as one can hear the thick bass and intricate drums. A special attribute of Gambino’s musical skill is his ability to harmonize. This song highlights that talent with a sweet choir and even Young Thug with a surprisingly filling outro. Lyrically this song would speak to anyone who has paid the slightest attention to the news or social climate in the last 5-7 years (looking at you Kanye). One cannot deny the kinetic energy of a group experience with this song.
One cannot deny the visceral storytelling and collaborative energy of Gambino and Hiro Murai’s music video for This is America. First impressions include but aren’t limited to:
- That’s not Trayvon Martin’s Dad (C’mon y’all…)
- Commentary on gun violence/allusion to 2015 Charleston Church Massacre (watch: more care for the guns being used than for the lives being taken)
- Black people as entertainers; not a people (America only sees the entertainment value of Black people in pop culture [dancing, clothing, music] and not the real story for the very people America loves to pretend to be)
- White horse/Apocalypse nod (not religious but pretty sure a white horse is the first sign of the end of the world or nah…?)
- Is Gambino running away from the Sunken Place? (or white oppression in general?)
With talks of album coming (his latest album was released late 2016), a tour with Vince Staples and Rae Sremmurd (get your tix asap), plus whatever he has planned with that Donald Glover guy, one cannot deny…Gambino season?