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“This is America” – Childish Gambino’s Masterful Visual Thinkpiece

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While Kanye is out here scoopy di pooping, Childish Gambino puts out This is America, a political think piece and mini documentary disguised as a music video. Loving seeing artists going meta like this – there are so many interesting layers to this thing. If you watch only the background, you see the America of social unrest, gun violence (notice how brutally the people are killed while the guns themselves are not only easy to access but are treated well and handled with care), domestic terrorism (the reference to the Charleston church shooting is pretty obvious), racism and fear (see: the end). Actually, if you watch only what’s going on in the back, it’s pretty scary and menacing. Looking only at the foreground, however, you see happy, talented and creative black children dancing, seemingly oblivious to what’s going on behind them as they do the latest dances (including some dope African ones likes the gwara gwara – choreographed by @sherriesilver, one of the best African dancers around, and also performing as one of the school kids in the video. Afrobeats and African dance styles are defo working their way into the American mainstream – could have a whole other conversation about the modern Africanisation of Black American music). Another q is: Are the kids dancing to cope? Or dancing because they don’t know better? If the latter, the track itself features a number of ad libs from rappers (incl Quavo, Young Thug, 21 Savage…) who you could say are themselves distracting the youth from the real background troubles. Super dope. Lots of food for thought. Watch the whole thing. #childishgambino #thisisamerica #art #activism #donaldglover

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