Earlier this month, Childish Gambino a.k.a Donald Glover released “This Is America.” Despite the song being a Billboard hit, the music video, which currently has over 150,000,000 views is in the most genuine sense- haunting. Unsettling images of violence, murder, rioting and particularly Gambino’s uncomfortable dance moves are seen throughout the video.
Since “This is America” has dropped, the internet has been in an awkward stage of awe and frustration, which has caused this viral hit to be deconstructed by literally everyone (cough, cough-low budget youtubers). And while my sarcasm revels in it’s glory, let me add the bandwagoning of people becoming historians and detectives to decode this video is undoubtedly entertaining and utterly disappointing.
“This is America” is iconic, but I wouldn’t say it’s a masterpiece. Let me explain…
I think Donald Glover’s point was completely missed by the masses with this video and that message was confusion. “This is America” is obviously telling a story of the many social injustices in America. The gun violence, police militarization and janky dance moves were all orchestrated to make the viewer feel uncomfortable, and that’s blatant- no need for decoding there. I would also guess that Gambino’s purpose was simply to make anyone watching be compelled to understand, not post a video that validates what is already completely validated in the music video.
With the polarizing intersection of so many political agendas today, a great message (or music video) could get lost in translation. The oversaturation of explanations mainly from liberal media for “This is America” looks like just another intellectual takeover by the “lefties.” While I recognize that most intentions are pure with the deconstruction articles and videos, it’s overcooked and doesn’t allow for undisrupted, solo, critical thinking for the viewer, in that moment of watching a great execution of artistic expression on Donald Glover’s part.
Also with so many of these deconstruction videos, your preaching to the choir. There is just no need for so many or even any (and I recognize that’s impossible). For those really concerned that some folks won’t understand the video for themselves, the lyrics evoke the exact same emotion of the video.
[Chorus: Childish Gambino, Slim Jxmmi & Young Thug]
This is America (woo, ayy)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (woo, woo, don’t catch you slippin’, now)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (ayy, woah)
Look what I’m whippin’ now (Slime!)
This is America (yeah, yeah)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (woah, ayy)
Don’t catch you slippin’ now (ayy, woo)
Look what I’m whippin’ now (ayy)
This is pretty much self explanatory people. Plainly, what I am saying is, let the art speak for itself. We have to have better discretion in knowing when and how to share our voices.