Watch Childish Gambino’s Shocking Video for New Song ‘This Is America’

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In America, a lot of people get shot. Like, all the time–and especially black people. And in Childish Gambino’s new video for This Is America things are no different. The video starts off with a seemingly carefree Childish Gambino, the musical alter ego of Atlanta creator Donald Glover, dancing in an empty warehouse. Right up until he executes a man. The rest of the video is peppered with similar incidents of extreme fun and extreme violence, culminating in Gambino fleeing a pursuing crowd.

This is Childish Gambino’s first new release since his 2016 Grammy-award-winning album Awaken, My Love! Glover has also said that his as-yet-unnamed upcoming album will be his last under the moniker. So, you could say he’s going out with a bang.

Childish Gambino, originally a jokey rap vehicle, found mainstream success with the P-Funk pastiche of his 2016 album “Awaken, My Love!”, but that wider recognition coincided with Glover himself being increasingly praised for his skill set in full, rather than his individual talents.

The carefree way “This Is America” starts is very misleading. I thought it was going to be another happy-go-lucky Childish Gambino song like “California,” but it is not that at all! While watching the video, it didn’t take long to notice the pronounced social commentary once the graphic scenes started rolling in.

The video, helmed by Atlanta director Hiro Murai, is a surreal, visceral statement about gun violence in America as Glover alternates between gleefully dancing the latest dance crazes and remorselessly unloading firearms at unsuspecting victims.

In just a little over four minutes, Childish Gambino does an excellent job covering 3 points:

1. The reality of what America is really like vs. the idealized version.

2. America is full of gun-crazed individuals who endanger the lives of everybody else on a whim.

3. We spend time engaging in frivolous activities (i.e. learning all the latest dance crazes), completely distracted from the chaos that surrounds us.

Leave it to Donald Glover to entertain, educate, and open eyes all in one go, just like he does with the show Atlanta. “This Is America” is more than a song, it’s a message.