This is America

Makayla Riley, Writer

Known for hit songs like “3005” and “Redbone,” Donald Glover, under the alter ego Childish Gambino, has came back with another . “This Is America” recently premiered May 5 on an episode of Saturday Night Live. With the song reaching No. 1 on the charts and over 100 million views on YouTube, it has caused quite a controversial stir among people due to the graphic nature of the music video. In the video depicts several scenes of violence—such as Gambino shooting innocent victims—and mass hysteria encircling around the brutality, while some school children and him continue to dance frivolously. Many have tried to decode the song’s underlying message. Mainly, the song is about what Gambino believes to be the carelessness of Americans paying attention to racism, police brutality and gun violence, only to be enticed by the next viral video. Furthermore, the song’s repetitive lyrics illustrate a senseless obsession with partying, money, appearance and social media while underlying black oppression and violence are being subsided, which can be summed up in this lyric, “This is America/Don’t catch you slippin’ up”. So far, this is one of the first political songs of this year to top No. 1, as well as knocking down the long-standing “God’s Plan” by Drake. With a message that resembles what’s going on today in America, it seems like this song will not be moving from that spot too soon.