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“This is America” music video shakes the country

Childish Gambino performing. Courtesy MTC Campus.
Childish Gambino performing. Courtesy MTC Campus.

Childish Gambino’s latest music video, “This Is America,” has shaken his viewers in the best way possible. The video is chock-full of hidden meanings and has fans in an uproar trying to figure it all out.

This catchy and fierce song has jumped to number one on the Billboard charts, and the music video has tons of symbolism describing America’s current state. Donald Glover, also known by his rap name Childish Gambino, starts the video dancing to a carefree and cheerful melody only to abruptly pull out a gun and shoot a man sitting down. Immediately after shooting the man, Glover begins singing “This is America, Don’t catch you slippin up.” Following this, Glover begins dancing with what appears to be school children amidst the chaos that is happening behind him with the shooting he had just created. This displays how quickly Americans are to cover up tragedies with entertainment, especially tragedies related to gun violence.

Throughout the entire video, he is trying to portray how performers of our time are more concerned with superficial things instead of using their platforms to speak out againstt the violence and mayhem happening around them. He sings “I’m so fitted, I’m on Gucci, I’m so pretty,” mocking what artists of this era mainly sing about in their songs.

There is another powerful scene where a choir is singing and dancing, and Glover is given a different gun and shoots them all. This again aids the message that violence in our country is becoming way too normalized, and shootings are becoming just another story to scroll through on your phone.  

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The song also discusses racism, when featuring artist Young Thug sings “You just a black man in this world, You just a barcode.” During this point in the music video, Glover has a petrified look on his face and is sprinting for his life. This symbolizes how African Americans are continued to be treated in our country, and that racism is still a real issue.

This music video is meant to be watched multiple times to uncover the layers it contains. It is important to have a music video like this to shock viewers and to get people thinking from a different perspective, and Childish Gambino has achieved that through this powerful music video.

 

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About the Contributor
Lauren Lee
Lauren Lee, Writer
Lauren is a second year at San Diego Mesa College, and originally moved from Ventura County. She is currently 21 years old and is studying Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations. She hopes to transfer to SDSU in the Fall and is excited to write for the Mesa Press for the first time this semester. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and attending concerts, reading books, and cuddling her cat.
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