THIS IS AMERICA
Dropping amid ongoing political and cultural tumult and turmoil, Childish Gambino’s “This is America” appears to be a commentary on black life in America and American culture as a whole. It contrasts popular culture’s perception of black experience and its often brutal reality by juxtaposing happy, carefree choruses and dark, aggressive verses.
This contrast may also allude to the cyclical shifts in mood whenever there is a shooting in America. One second, the entire nation is in an uproar, the next, they are happy and unconcerned, placated by pop culture trends.
In the music video, directed by frequent Gambino collaborator Hiro Murai, Gambino portrays this comparison by dancing around gleefully with school-aged children, seemingly unbothered by the chaotic scenes of violence in the background. However, in the short film’s final scene, Gambino is seen running frantically through a darkened warehouse trying to escape the mob that now chases him, a reminder that if America chooses to remain ignorant to its problems, eventually they will catch up to us.
Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, producer, singer, songwriter, rapper, and DJ. He performs under the musical stage name Childish Gambino and as a DJ under the name mcDJ, although Glover's next album will be his last under his stage name.