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The Reflection

Glover calls gorilla in his new single, ‘This is America’

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Donald Glover, also known by his stage name “Childish Gambino,” released his newest single “This is America”  on Saturday, May 5.  Not only does the single serve as a quality piece of music, featuring artists such as 21 Savage, Quavo and Young Thug, but also serves as poignant commentary on the current culture in America.

Glover is a talented writer and is truly the model modern rapper. “This is America” as a song is impressive, but as a multimedia production with his video “This is America” turns into a

Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino performs his new single “This is America” photo courtesy of wiki commons.

work of art. Gambino’s lyrics are powerful and leaves the listener to ruminate about current gun culture and racism in America. Many of the lyrics are up for interpretation, but almost all of the interpretations lead the listener to a similar conclusion–America has a problem.

The video opens with a single pan shot lasting for a minute and forty seconds, featuring Gambino dancing in a contourted manner, with facial expressions that are almost caricature, possibly to serve as a distraction to the fact he is about to shoot a man tied up in a chair. The sudden and nonchalant manner in which the shooting is done, is bone chilling. He then, does it again, gunning down the entirety of a gospel choir–a clear reference to the Charleston Church shooting of 2015 where a black church was gunned down. Gambino goes on to take stabs at societal normalization and neglect of mass shootings by mocking the cultures obsession with social media.

Closer to the end of the video, Gambino takes a pause, and then lights up a joint. This statement is then followed by the powerful imagery of him dancing on the roof of an older car, despite singing about fancy “foreigns” and police sirens. This likely alludes to the disproportionate arrests made of black people in America for marijuana possession, and the fact that no matter how much money he makes, how objectively successful he is on paper, he will still be a black man–and always seen as such.

The video and song, are not subtle, but they should not be either. Glover set out to make a statement, to call bullshit on American culture, and to force a reminder that we are not great, which he completed successfully.


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[caption id="attachment_23989" align="alignleft" width="300"] Tova Carter poses for mug shot.[/caption] This year is my first year on newspaper, and my final one at Gull Lake high school. I’ve always wanted to do newspaper but never seemed to have the time. I enjoy writing and have a passion for news.  

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