"This is America" - New Single by Childish Gambino

Discussion in 'Music and Podcasts' started by takeyourmeds91, May 6, 2018.

  1. takeyourmeds91

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    Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino drops provocative single and video entitled, "This is America." In the same vein of J.Cole's recent album, he deliveres commentary on the state of America, with a focus on the Black experience. Concept and production were amazing. So many layers.

    Some of the comments on social media were disheartening though. From what I've read so far, the conversation has focused on his dancing and him possibly being a little "sweet" which to that I would respond that they completely missed the element of caricature in the piece.

    On a somewhat larger scale, people (mostly black women, go figure) are questioning his ability to be pro-black while also being with a white woman and having mixed kids (what a novel argument, right?) To that, I'd respond get the fuck out of here. That's a very narrow view. Hell, Ben Carson is married to a Black woman and look how problematic he is. In past interviews, Glover has been noted saying that while growing up he was often rejected by black women as a "white-sounding", black nerd. Many believe this has pushed him to expand into the realm of white wimminz which isn't unreasonable. Again, Black women feel that they are owed Black men. How are you going to dictate who I can and can't love?

    Anyway! Watch the video and give me you guys' first impressions!
     
  2. DreG

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    This was well done.This was a black man using art to deliver a message,and it was done so effectively in my opinion. The interpretation I had was black folks want to be happy and free,but we have tt remember we are seen as targets,and have social ills disrupting our peace.
     
  3. jpo

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    I didn't think much of "This is America" when I watched it on SNL last night, but this works - sharp and taut.
     
  4. takeyourmeds91

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    Yea, I don't know if I would've gotten the full picture without the video
     
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  5. DreG

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  6. takeyourmeds91

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  7. Omega Level

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    He's so amazing. So talented and the video was great.

    Side note - His creativity is so attractive and pretty good face. His body, eeh, kinda shaped like a gummy bear, but I think he would still get it. :jawalrus:
     
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  8. ControlledXaos

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    :ashley::picard:
    The shade! Lol

    Meanwhile I appreciate how he's put himself out there and didn't get on the treadmill for 4 weeks for this video shoot, eating watercress, and drinking bone broth to get abs for Y'all hoes.

    :kermit:

    But I did see his cute little butt crack. He so compact and is all of 178 lbs. If that.
     
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  9. Omega Level

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    Yeah, I guess there's that too. :rudy:

    Ha, just kidding. I do like his confident no fucks given about his body as well.
     
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  10. OckyDub

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    Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ Video, Explained?

    Childish Gambino took the internet by storm this weekend with the release of his new single “This Is America” and its accompanying music video loaded with haunting images of black oppression and gun violence.

    Fans unpacked the subtle references on Twitter, with many proclaiming the rapper, whose real name is Donald Glover, as one of the most important voices of this generation.

    ICYMI, below are some of the most-talked-about references in “This Is America,” in order of appearance in the video.

    Calvin The Second
    [​IMG]
    CHILDISH GAMBINO/YOUTUBE
    Viewers initially confused actor and musician Calvin The Second, who plays the guitarist in the video’s opening shot, for the father of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot to death in Florida in 2012 by George Zimmerman.

    Calvin The Second confirmed his appearance in the video Sunday on Instagram: “Got the call from one of my agents while up at Coachella that they wanted me for the shoot on Sunday, drove down and got to be a part of history.”

    Warehouse
    [​IMG]
    CHILDISH GAMBINO/YOUTUBE
    “This Is America” is set entirely in a drab warehouse, which some viewers interpreted as the country’s foundation, built on systemic white supremacy and oppression.

    “Much of this seems to take place in a building/warehouse where the foundation and support systems (the beams) are mostly white,” tweeted @JarridGreen.

    Some veteran Childish Gambino fans pointed out similarities to his 2011 “Freaks and Geeks” music video, which also takes place in a warehouse.

    Fela Kuti
    [​IMG]
    GETTY IMAGES/VEVO
    The video features a shirtless Childish Gambino donning a gold chain necklace and trousers that give off a ’70s vibe. His look appears to be inspired by the late Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician dubbed “Africa’s answer to Handel” by one arts critic.

    “Fela Kuti reverberates in Childish Gambino’s body,” civil rights activist Michael Skolnik wrote of the video on Twitter. “It is art at its highest form. Still in awe.”

    African dance
    Fans were obsessed with Childish Gambino’s nod to African dances, including Shoki and Gwara Gwara, a style of dance popularized in South Africa (and featured in Rihanna’s 2018 Grammys performance).

    “Childish Gambino reeks of talent,” tweeted @muchman16. “I loved the part where those kids danced shoki and gwara gwara.”

    Others pointed out how dance trends can distract from the life-or-death situations affecting black communities.

    “Childish Gambino’s #ThisIsAmerica spoke to me as a black South African women,” tweeted @Cpaw2. “Women being hunted and killed while society does the gwara gwara.”

    Jim Crow
    View image on Twitter
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Nick@nicky_furiosa



    Shook by how fast I caught this reference. I haven’t seen a Jim Crow picture in years. Donald Glover did not come to play with y’all today. #ThisIsAmerica

    10:36 AM - May 6, 2018
    Twitter Ads info and privacy


    Justin Simien, the filmmaker behind “Dear White People,” tweeted a “love letter” to the video on Sunday, breaking down its searing use of Jim Crow imagery.

    “Jim Crow began as one of the first fits of white American culture to address it’s former African slaves (and their descendants) at all,” Simien wrote. “A minstrelsy mainstay played by white men in black face, and sometimes by black men in black face.”

    “Jim Crow began as mere pop culture entertainment at the expense of America’s freed slaves and became the means of their oppression,” he continued, noting that the character’s name was eventually lent to laws enforcing racial segregation in the U.S.

    America’s gun obsession
    [​IMG]
    CHILDISH GAMBINO/YOUTUBE
    Each time Childish Gambino fires a gun in “This Is America,” he hands it off to someone who whisks it away in a red cloth. Viewers interpreted these scenes as Americans’ willingness to protect gun rights over people, despite the country’s alarmingly high rates of gun violence.

    “Because this is America,” tweeted @Shugah. “We shoot up schools, churches, each other and then we place the guns tenderly in a cloth to protect them. And then we dance.”

    Suicide

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    iris@siriouslyyy



    No one caught the fact that at 2:13, a man jumps to his death. It shows how we don’t care about suicide in America, yet are all in when it’s a dance/trend. This Is America. #thisisamerica @donaldglover

    10:37 PM - May 6, 2018
    Twitter Ads info and privacy


    One viewer suggested the apparent suicide scene points to a pervasive mental illness stigma plaguing the African-American community.

    “Does the man jumping to his death that goes largely unnoticed because of Gambino’s dancing serve as a reminder that suicide & poor mental health in the African American community is being ignored,” asked @JuelzKojoey on Twitter.

    Charleston massacre
    [​IMG]
    CHILDISH GAMBINO/YOUTUBE
    One of the most disturbing scenes in “This Is America” features an all-black church choir getting shot up with an assault-style rifle. The massacre appears to be a reference to the 2015 mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in which a white gunman killed nine black churchgoers.

    “Childish Gambino really made a reference to the Charleston church shooting that happened in 2015,” tweeted @EmanThatKid. “He shows how mass shootings are normalized in America, even if you shooting up a place of worship.”

    Viral videos of police brutality and racism
    [​IMG]
    CHILDISH GAMBINO/YOUTUBE
    In one scene, black teenagers use their phones to record the chaos unfolding below as their mouths appear to be covered by a white material.

    Some viewers believed this to be a reference to the rise of viral videos of police brutality and racist encounters to overcome the metaphorical muzzling of black people in a white supremacist system.

    “Kids are seen recording everything on their phones, referencing the use of livestreams in police shootings as a means of documenting and sharing the truth,” tweeted @thelocalemo. “Gambino’s lyrics state, ‘this is a celly, that’s a tool.’”

    White horse
    [​IMG]
    CHILDISH GAMBINO/YOUTUBE
    It’s easy to miss the white stallion galloping by in the background on the first viewing of “This Is America.” Upon closer look, viewers pointed to biblical references of a “pale horse” heralding the apocalypse, which largely goes unnoticed by the characters dancing in the foreground of the video.

    Karen Civil, a social media and marketing guru, pointed out the specific passage from the Bible’s Book of Revelation: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”

    Traffic stop killings
    [​IMG]
    CHILDISH GAMBINO/YOUTUBE
    Toward the end of the video, Childish Gambino dances atop a red car surrounded by other decades-old cars with their hazard lights flashing and doors open.

    Viewers drew connections to the black men routinely killed by police during traffic stops, including Philando Castille in Minnesota in 2016.

    “Do a lot of those cars ... have their drivers side doors open and hazards on cause they’re symbolic of the cars of all the people pulled over and killed by the police?” wondered Twitter user @giddy_pony.

    Others found economic symbolism within the sea of beat-up cars.

    “I’m having a 4 am finals procrastination epiphany that the mostly parked, vacant cars in #ThisIsAmerica reference to the stalled socioeconomic and political mobility of Black people in America,” tweeted @izaynab.

    SZA
    [​IMG]
    CHILDISH GAMBINO/YOUTUBE
    R&B singer SZA made an appearance in “This Is America,” sending her fans in a frenzy. Viewers noted the similarities between her hairstyle and the Statue of Liberty’s crown.

    SZA appeared to confirm the Lady Liberty theories Sunday on Instagram.

    The Sunken Place
    [​IMG]

    Anyone who has seen the film “Get Out” likely picked up on the eerie vibes at the end of the video as Childish Gambino attempts to escape the warehouse. It reminded many of “the Sunken Place” seen in the 2017 film, the mental space where the main character Chris goes after he’s been brainwashed, unable to control his body.

    “The Sunken Place means we’re marginalized,” Jordan Peele, the movie’s director, explained on Twitter in March 2017. “No matter how hard we scream, the system silences us.”

    Daniel Kaluuya, who played Chris in “Get Out,” introduced Childish Gambino’s performance of “This Is America” on “Saturday Night Live.”

    Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' Video, Explained | HuffPost
     
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  11. ControlledXaos

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    I was not aware of this video until this morning. Really had not been on the internet much this weekend and only saw it once on my phone so I missed stuff. Definitely will watch it again at home.
     
  12. takeyourmeds91

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    *New Development: An addendum to the criticism*

    So apparently, Glover has been quoted in the past saying some not-so-Pro-Black things within his comedy and interviews before he became the Childish Gambino we know today.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-07 at 19.57.21.png


    Don't know how true this is or isn't but if so, how do we reconcile this? Should we reconcile this? What do we do with this information?
     
  13. ControlledXaos

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    If it's true or not does that invalidate the messages in the video?
     
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  14. OckyDub

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    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Really? Been following him since day 45 of his career. I've never seen or heard him say anything maliciously anti-black any where near how most Black comedians talk about Black women.

    What this is some Black women mad because somebody doesn't want them, which is how many women and gays react when the men they lust over don't want them.
     
    #14 OckyDub, May 7, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
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  15. takeyourmeds91

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    That's pretty much what I boiled it down to as well. Some chicks had the nerve to say that he should have dated a black nerd chick. get tf out of here
     
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  16. ControlledXaos

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    Black nerdy girls are not always checking for black men either..

    If Becky was in the basement playing DnD, Magic and World of War craft, letting this man be himself while Darshanna was watching reruns of The Parkers and didn't think he had enough "swag" and was corny, she needs to be mad at herself.
     
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  17. Omega Level

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    You know I definitely am not on the side of black women trying to make a thing of pointing that out. I think love is absolutely love at the end of the day.

    BUT, lol, I think it is indeed hard to TALK BLACK and SLEEP WHITE. IMO.

    Dont get me wrong, Im not exactly saying that is what Donald Glover is doing. I dont think he has made a career or been a strong advocate for black injustice etc. I think this was just a video expressing a point and he has the right to do so and it was great. But just for general purpose, it would be hard for me to be 100% on board with someone who is black power/pan african etc and then they run home to cuddle with their white spouse. Something about that just deserves a strong side eye to me.
     
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  18. takeyourmeds91

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    Yea, I'd be inclined to agree if they were full-on Black Panther Mode but making commentary about the plight of Black Americans, especially when the content creator is not exempt and can still face the same consequences really shouldn't be rattling and bones. Even if they are sleeping white. Pro-Black =/= anti-white.

    *qualifier* I know you didn't speak against my last point, I just needed to say it lol

    This whole argument on social media is pissing me off. I feel like it's so unnecessary unless he really did say some disrespectful ass shit about Black women earlier in his career.
     
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  19. OckyDub

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    Yo....

    Its a Black girl nerd at my job who is obsessed with Asian dudes.

    Also, he talked about (rap / sang) about him being passed over, being corny, having no swag on his first album (Summer Camp) which was reflected in his first major video.

     
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  20. OckyDub

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    You mean like slave abolitionist Frederick Douglass ?
     
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  21. OckyDub

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    100dap
     
  22. takeyourmeds91

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    He represents an interesting space in the Black community. He's a product of being ostracized by the same people who are hooting and hollering - if they think he's slightly problematic, that's their fault. I think this topic resonates so strongly with me because I was that nerd in school. I wasn't hardcore but I still had my challenges coming up. My nerd still shows today but now it's sexy lmao
     
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  23. ControlledXaos

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    Yep. There are a few Asian Men + Black Women Facebook groups.
     
  24. machoBLKnerd

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    the real magic of this video is that he was unafraid to go shirtless w/o a summer body lol #braverthanme

    seriously, he's doing the kind of work kanye used to do
     
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