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This Is America (Childish Gambino song)

This Is America (Childish Gambino song)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_America_(Childish_Gambino_song)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"This Is America"
Single by Childish Gambino
Released May 5, 2018 (2018-05-05)
Format Digital download
Genre Trap[1][2], afrobeat[2]
Length 3:45
Label
Songwriter(s) Donald Glover
Composer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Glover
  • Göransson
Childish Gambino singles chronology
"Terrified"
(2017)
"This Is America"
(2018)
Music video
"This Is America" on YouTube

"This Is America" is a song by American rapper Childish Gambino (Donald Glover). Written and produced by Glover and Ludwig Göransson, it was released on May 5, 2018, at the same time that Glover was hosting that day's episode of Saturday Night Live. The song features background vocals by American rappers Young Thug, Slim Jxmmi, BlocBoy JB, 21 Savage, and Quavo.[3][4]

The song's music video was directed by Japanese filmmaker Hiro Murai, a frequent Glover collaborator.[5][6] According to RCA Records, the song is not the first single from Childish Gambino's upcoming studio album.[7][8] "This Is America" debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming both Childish Gambino's first number one and top ten single in the country.

Composition

The song features a gospel-style choir and background contributions from various American rappers. Young Thug, Slim Jxmmi, BlocBoy JB, 21 Savage and Quavo each deliver an ad-lib.[6][9] Young Thug returns to supply the song's outro.[4] The lyrics primarily address being black in the United States and gun violence in the country.[10] It also touches on police brutality.[11][12] Pitchfork's Stephen Kearse described the song as a representation of the "tightrope of being black", with the song "built on the sharp contrast between jolly, syncretic melodies and menacing trap cadences".[13]

Music video

In the video, Gambino assumes a stance similar to the Jim Crow caricature.

Directed by Hiro Murai, the music video for the song was released on YouTube simultaneously with Gambino's performance of the song on Saturday Night Live.[14] The video follows Gambino dancing through a warehouse, interacting with a series of chaotic scenes.[15] According to Murai, the video was inspired by the films Mother! and City of God.[16] Choreographed by Sherrie Silver, Gambino and his entourage of young dancers perform several viral dance moves including the South African Gwara Gwara and "Shoot" popularized by BlocBoy JB, who is one of the ad-lib contributors on the song.[9][17] Gambino's dancing is contrasted against moments of violence. Only 53 seconds into the video,[18] Gambino shoots a man in the back of the head with a handgun, while assuming a comical stance similar to a Jim Crow caricature.[19] At a later point, he uses an automatic weapon (specifically an AK-47) to gun down a church choir, which viewers have interpreted as a reference to the 2015 Charleston church shooting.[20] In both instances, a child appears from offscreen holding a red cloth, on which Gambino gently lays the weapon used, which viewers have interpreted "as a reference to Americans' willingness to protect gun rights over people".[21] The first shooting also marks a transition in the music, from an African "folk-inspired melody" to a "dark, pulsing trap."[18] American singer SZA makes a cameo appearance towards the end of the video.[12] The video ends with Gambino in a darkened portion of the warehouse, fearfully running towards the camera while being chased. Viewers have said this resembles scenes from the film Get Out.[20]

The video received 12.9 million views in 24 hours[22] and has over 150 million views.[23] The first person depicted as being shot in the video, a guitarist who had been accompanying Gambino's singing up to that point, was musician Calvin the Second, but was initially mistaken by many viewers to be the father of teenager Trayvon Martin.[24]

Critical reception

Spencer Kornhaber of The Atlantic described the initial reaction on Twitter as "a gushing river of well-deserved praise" and the video as "the most talked-about music video of recent memory."[6] Daniel Kreps of Rolling Stone commented that the video "is a surreal, visceral statement about gun violence in America".[25] Pitchfork awarded the song the distinction of "Best New Track".[13]

Chart performance

"This Is America" debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming the 31st song to do so in the chart's history. It debuted with 78,000 downloads sold and 65.3 million US streams in the first week. Its music video accounted for 68% of the song's streaming total. "This Is America" is also Gambino's first top 10; he previously reached number 12 in August 2017 with "Redbone". "This Is America" displaced Drake's "Nice for What" from the top position. Gambino is also the first Emmy Award-winning actor to reach number one on the Hot 100 since Justin Timberlake, who topped the chart with "Can't Stop the Feeling!" in 2016.[26]

Credits and personnel

Credits are adapted from Tidal.[27]

  • Donald Glover – lead vocals (as Childish Gambino), production, composition
  • Ludwig Göransson – production, composition, record engineering
  • Derek "MixedByAli" Ali - mix engineering
  • Mike Bozzi – master engineering
  • Quavo – background vocals
  • Young Thug – background vocals
  • 21 Savage – background vocals
  • Slim Jxmmi – background vocals
  • BlocBoy JB – background vocals
  • Alex Tumay – record engineering
  • Riley Mackin – record engineering
  • Kesha "K.Lee" Lee – record engineering

Charts

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[28] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[29] 57
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[30] 38
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[31] 18
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[32] 1
Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[33] 8
France (SNEP)[34] 19
Germany (Official German Charts)[35] 39
Hungary (Single Top 40)[36] 9
Hungary (Stream Top 40)[37] 25
Ireland (IRMA)[38] 2
Italy (FIMI)[39] 49
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[40] 32
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[41] 19
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[42] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[43] 10
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[44] 11
Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[45] 3
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[46] 9
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[47] 16
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[48] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[49] 1
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[50] 1

Release history

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various May 5, 2018 Digital download
[7][8]
United States May 15, 2018 Rhythmic contemporary radio [51]

References

  1. ^ Cornish, Audie (May 7, 2018). "Donald Glover's 'This Is America' Holds Ugly Truths To Be Self-Evident". NPR. Retrieved May 9, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Jenkins, Craig (May 17, 2018). "The Internet Has Already Devoured 'This Is America'". Vulture. New York Media, LLC. Retrieved May 20, 2018. The same night he dropped off the video for “This Is America,” a combination trap and afrobeat banger with a beguiling message about race and gun violence. 
  3. ^ Arcand, Rob (May 6, 2018). "Childish Gambino Debuts Politically-Charged New Song "This is America" on SNL: Watch". Spin. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b Guan, Frank (May 7, 2018). "What It Means When Childish Gambino Says 'This Is America'". Vulture. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c Kornhaber, Spencer (May 7, 2018). "Donald Glover Is Watching You Watch Him". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  7. ^ a b "Childish Gambino Releases New Song And Video "This Is America" - RCA Records". RCA Records. May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Russell, Scott (May 6, 2018). "Childish Gambino Makes His Triumphant Return with "This Is America," "Saturday"". Paste Magazine. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b Espinoza, Joshua (May 6, 2018). "Here Are the Rappers Who Contributed to Childish Gambino's "This Is America"". Complex. Retrieved May 8, 2018. 
  10. ^ Tesema, Martha (May 6, 2018). "Donald Glover tackles gun violence in powerful video for 'This Is America,' his new single". Mashable. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  11. ^ Holland, Jesse J. (May 9, 2018). "'This Is America' seals Glover's rep as protest artist". AP News. Retrieved May 10, 2018. 
  12. ^ a b France, Lisa Respers (May 7, 2018). "'This Is America': The Childish Gambino video explained". CNN. Retrieved May 8, 2018. 
  13. ^ a b ""This Is America" by Childish Gambino Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved May 11, 2018. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Childish Gambino releases surprise track". BBC News. May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  16. ^ Sharf, Zack (May 11, 2018). "'This Is America' Director Hiro Murai Shares Video Influences: 'City Of God' Meets the Last 20 Minutes of 'mother!'". IndieWire. Retrieved May 20, 2018. 
  17. ^ Thompson, Desire (May 7, 2018). "Childish Gambino 'This Is America' Video: 9 Cultural References Explained". Vibe. Retrieved May 8, 2018. 
  18. ^ a b Amoako, Aida (May 8, 2018). "Why the Dancing Makes 'This Is America' So Uncomfortable to Watch". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 10, 2018. 
  19. ^ Harris, Aisha (May 8, 2018). ""This Is America" Is What Happens When Childish Gambino and Atlanta Become One". Slate Magazine. Retrieved May 10, 2018. 
  20. ^ a b Rao, Sonia (May 7, 2018). "'This Is America': Breaking down Childish Gambino's powerful new music video". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 9, 2018. 
  21. ^ Miller, Hayley (May 7, 2018). "Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' Video, Explained". Huffpost. 
  22. ^ Penrose, Nerisha (May 9, 2018). "Childish Gambino's Record-Breaking 'This Is America' Video Hits 50 Million Views in Mere Days". Billboard. Retrieved May 10, 2018. 
  23. ^ Glover, Donald (May 5, 2018). "Childish Gambino - This Is America (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved May 10, 2018. 
  24. ^ France, Lisa Respers (May 8, 2018). "That's not Trayvon Martin's dad in 'This Is America'". CNN. Retrieved May 9, 2018. 
  25. ^ Kreps, Daniel (May 6, 2018). "Watch Childish Gambino's Caustic Video for New Song 'This Is America'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  26. ^ Trust, Gary (May 14, 2018). "Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' Is No. 1 On The Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018. 
  27. ^ "This Is America / Childish Gambino". Tidal. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  28. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018. 
  29. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Childish Gambino – This Is America" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  30. ^ "Ultratop.be – Childish Gambino – This Is America" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – Childish Gambino – This Is America" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  32. ^ "Childish Gambino Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  33. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201820 into search. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  34. ^ "Lescharts.com – Childish Gambino – This Is America" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  35. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Childish Gambino – This Is America". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  36. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  37. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Stream Top 40 slágerlista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  38. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved May 19, 2018. 
  39. ^ "Top Singoli – Classifica settimanale WK 20" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved May 19, 2018. 
  40. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 20, 2018" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  41. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Childish Gambino – This Is America" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  42. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2018. 
  43. ^ "VG-lista – Topp 20 Single uke 20, 2018". VG-lista. Retrieved May 19, 2018. 
  44. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  45. ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201820 into search. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  46. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved May 18, 2018. 
  47. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Childish Gambino – This Is America". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  48. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  49. ^ "Childish Gambino Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  50. ^ "Childish Gambino Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  51. ^ "Top 40/Rhythmic". All Access Music Group. 

External links



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