Childish Gambino has released a new song, This is America, accompanied by a video directed by Hiro Murai and characterised by a strong political imprint.
Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, published a music video full of hidden messages. The video magically points out the problems in which the United States of America now lives in.
Topics cover the progressive expanding of racism, the police attitude towards black people, the problem of weapons in a country that in 2018 seems to have turned back time.
The video displays police brutality, the uncontrolled use of guns, white supremacism, but also the tendency of pop, hip-hop and music including traps, hidden under a carpet of distraction calming the worries that surround and shake the black community.
The video’s first scene showed an empty warehouse, and a man with a guitar who sat on an empty, lonely chair.
Gambino is positioned while holding a weapon mimicing the minstrel actor Jim Crow.
The origin of the term was used to describe pre-Civil rights-era segregation laws, and it is possible to recognise the Confederate army pants Glover sports in the video.
Gambino shoots at the man, and then a black guy comes to take the gun wrapped in red cloth with extra care – it shows how Americans value weapons over human lives.
Then Glover starts to dance with exaggerated movements and facial expression personifying everything that we associate with African-American culture & music, including gospel, and rap movements.
But then a scurry gunfire from an assault rifle tilts us back to the aggressive gloom of the real world, away from the idyllic portrait and the hypothetical scenarios created by pop songs.
This recalls the massacre in the gospel church of Charleston and the riots of Black Lives Matter.
The video highlights the complex role of America, from violence to the use of entertainment as a distraction.
Gambino is playing both the caricatures and a leader.
During the song’s first bridge, there is a hint of recognising how the media is serving as a distraction for more significant issues.
Whether the dancing is used to hide the pain or merely survive, Glover’s movements is a literal and figurative distraction from the chaos in the background.
Did you notice the man riding the white horse in the background when Gambino and the students are dancing in the warehouse?
It is possibly a representation of a biblical symbol for the imminent apocalypse.
This can possibly be the apocalypse for the music video, with more than 30 million views in three days on YouTube – a record.
This song has been released two years after Childish Gambino’s first album, hitting the iTunes chart top spot.
The final scene of the video show Gambino and SZA surrounded by stagnant old American cars. This scene represents the lack of progression and forward progress.
The video ends with Gambino running like hell, doing everything in his power to escape from America’s realities.