“This Is America” is a commentary on the lives of black people in America and American culture as a whole in 2018. It contrasts popular culture's perception of the black experience and the reality of the black experience by juxtaposing happy, carefree choruses and dark, aggressive verses.
In the music video, directed by frequent Gambino collaborator Hiro Murai, Gambino portrays this comparison by dancing around gleefully, distracting from the chaotic scenes of violence in the background.
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, but the next, they are happy and unconcerned, placated by pop culture trends.
“This is America” is Childish Gambino's 1st single since he dropped his 2016 studio album "Awaken, My Love!". The song’s release coincided with Gambino’s appearance on Saturday Night Live, where he performed it live.
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