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Is This America?

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Donald Glover, more commonly known as Childish Gambino, recently released a new song on May 5th 2018 and it has sparked movement. His new song is called “This is America” and both the song and the video are introducing a new way of music. It is called protest music, and it is using the spirit of protest and trauma and expressing them through song.

The song itself is already unique. The song has a unique chorus which sounds as if it is a church choir, which is then interspersed with Gambino rapping. The song lyrics discuss African American life in America and the culture. Blocboy JB, Slim Jxmmi, Young Thug, & 21 Savage are all feature in the song as well.

Some of the lyrics say, “Look at how I’m livin’ now/ police be trippin’ now/ Yeah, this is America/ Guns in my area”

In these lyrics it talks about how people are living now. He makes a reference to the police and then discusses the guns. There are guns in many areas, however in this music video it is very prevalent. The start of the video is normal it is a man playing a guitar and Childish Gambino enters. He is dancing in kind of an odd and funny way, however, he then takes a gun and shoots a man, with a white bag over his head.

This is not the only time someone gets shot in his video. He continues to dance throughout the music video and then it shows a church choir group singing, and yet again he pulls out a gun and shoots them. He continues on with the video dancing and singing. Also when listening to the song the beat of it is similar to gun shots which also is referenced in his video.

This has some dramatic themes in it, but one of the underlying message is the coverup of what is actually happening. When he enters the video he is dancing and it is a little off, but that is where the audience’s focus is. Then someone gets shot and it shocks people and then the focus goes back to him dancing. He may be trying to show how shootings get covered up. Throughout the movie there are also people who are video taping him as he walks by. Which might show how people are constantly watching what is happening but not doing anything about it.

This type of music is showing his thoughts on the problems with America. The recurring lyric of “This is America” really hits readers hard when they watch the video. It brings up the question of is this really America? Are we just ignoring the things going on today, and letting a distraction distract us from the real problem at hand. There is racism in America and he brings attention to the police and the shootings that have been happening, this form of protest music is starting a movement.

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One Response to “Is This America?”

  1. Barbara Patrick on June 4th, 2018 1:56 pm

    Very interesting article. So very current in our American culture.

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Is This America?