The next morning, the headlines were predictable, analytical and, in a basic way, accurate. It is all of these things, certainly. Which, in itself, compounds the original fear, which is why this video is keeping me up at night. The choir. The white horse. The cars. The African dance influences. And, of course, SZA. But those are specifics in a deliberate and detailed oeuvre already witnessed by likely more than hundreds of millions of people.
The pose resembles Jim Crow.
Subscriber Account active since. The music video for "This is America" capped an important weekend for Donald Glover. Like much of Glover's work, "This is America" is cryptic and loaded with shocking imagery and metaphor. The track's tone swerves from happy-go-lucky psalmic readings to more alarming verses. In typical Glover fashion, he dismissed close readings of his work in an interview at the Met Gala Monday night. But the music video's iconoclastic images and many layers deserve close examination to fully parse. Some initially believed the guitarist was Tracy Martin, the father of slain teen Trayvon Martin. But he's actually played by Calvin Winbush , a Los Angeles-based musician and actor.
Within the first minute, Gambino shoots the man, who has been tied up with a head cover. Childish Gambino hands the gun to another man, who safely wraps it in a red cloth as the obscured man is dragged away. Part of the brilliance of the presentation is that you go from this happy major mode of choral singing that we associate with South African choral singing, and then after the first gunshot it moves right into the trap sound. The moment could be open to numerous interpretations — for example, Ramsey says, the dancers could be there to distract viewers in the same way black art is used to distract people from real problems plaguing America. The style of dancing by Gambino in the video also calls out the way we consume culture. Gambino samples at least 10 popular dance moves derived from hip hop and African moves, including the South African Gwara Gwara dance, according to Forbes. Ramsey says the use of so many famous dance moves show how ultra-popular pieces of culture lose their specificity over time as they become more ubiquitous. Toward the middle of the video, a choir sings enthusiastically in a happy tone before Gambino shoots them all. The massacre and its quickness recall the Charleston shooting in which white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine black people in a church basement , Ramsey says.
The song's accompanying music video was directed by filmmaker Hiro Murai , a frequent Gambino collaborator. It has also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. This made Gambino the first hip-hop artist to win Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and "This Is America" the first rap song to win these awards. The song features a gospel -style choir and background contributions from various American rappers. Media outlets reported that a number of listeners accused Gambino of plagiarism over "This Is America", pointing out the similarities between the song and "American Pharaoh" by Jase Harley. Glover's manager, Fam Rothstein, denied any plagiarism. The video received about