Childish Gambino Drops Powerful Music Video "This Is America"
By: Kayla Pasacreta
Childish Gambino has done it again. The music video for "This Is America" is shocking and scandalous, shedding light on the new gimmicky-nature of politics, the cruel realities of police brutality, and the nation's gun epidemic. With ad-libs from Young Thug and 21 Savage, "This Is America" attempts to embody all fronts of the black experience. Far from the soothing nighttime nature of "Redbone", Gambino is urging black Americans to "stay woke" in a far different, more important way. It's safe to say Gambino does not hold back in his provocative artistry, and wants America to reckon with its sins.
Gambino starts out the video with a fun-loving persona, but the video has an ultimate switch-up when guns are brought out and the song's tempo sharply changes. The lyrics switch from “I know you wanna party/ Party just for me/ Girl, you got me dancin’/ Dancin’ free” to “This is America/ Police be trippin’ now/ Yeah, this is America/ Guns in my area”). As the change continues, a shirtless and wild-acting Gambino distracts you from the chaos going on in the background - and that is exactly the point. In the moments of distraction, its hard to not draw comparisons to Donald Trump's tweets and distractions from the very real problems going on in the country.
“Imma go into this," Gambino tells us, as he invokes imagery that takes us to Ferguson, riots in response to police brutality, the Charleston Church massacre, gun violence, and even Black Lives Mater protests. Gambino cautions, "Don’t catch you slippin’ up,”, another way of telling black people to "stay woke" and vigilant in the political climate of this country.
The political implications of the video can not be ignored, serving as a very timely reminder of the state of affairs and black pain in America, and comes in the midst of Kanye West's seemingly political evolution. Interestingly enough, West tweeted out a link to the video.
"This is America" carries the same profound nuances as seen in his hit show "Atlanta", helping Gambino earn his ranks among black artists who make it their mission to educate about race and call the country out for what it is. If "This is America" reflects the content of Gambino's new album, we're more than ready to stay woke.