Donald Glover Debuts Shocking “This Is America” Music Video, Takes Internet By Storm
Consciously swiping the infamous catchphrase “This is America” for the title of his song, singer-actor Donald Glover debuted the music video for his new tune this past Saturday, in conjunction with hosting NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”. The video has taken the media by storm, already being viewed 29 million times on Youtube.
Donald Glover is an accomplished comedian, writer, director, and actor, currently starring in FX’s series “Atlanta”. He’s also a Grammy-nominated singer, under the alter ego Childish Gambino.
He seemingly merged all these outlets into the politically charged music video, directed by regular “Atlanta” director Hiro Murai. The video features violence against African-Americans as well as lyrics about racial inequality.
Glover, who appeared as Gambino, was topless in the video—singing and dancing happily to a funk melody. He slipped up behind an African-American man with a hood over his head, then pulled out a gun—shooting him in the head, execution-style.
The happy dancing resumed, until, a few seconds later, Gambino grabbed an automatic rifle and mowed down an entire church choir that had been singing the song’s refrain.
Towards the end of the video, things finally darkened, literally — in the gloom and shadows, Gambino materialized in terror, running as fast as he could away from a crowd of mostly white men chasing him.
Comparisons to his comedy-drama show “Atlanta” were undeniable since it has been exploring violent acts committed upon some key characters including the rapper character Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry).
Articles immediately popped up online, praising and analyzing the social commentary in the video. Instant acclaim arrived not only from the hip-hop world, but also from pop and rock stars like Lady Gaga and Trent Reznor, the latter of whom broke a Twitter silence to rave about having watched the video five times in a row.
In today’s politically divided climate, it should come as no surprise that artists may become more and more vocal about the social issues that plague the public conscience.