Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino double headlined as a host and musical guest of “Saturday Night Live” last night (April 5, 2018) and reflecting his skill for multi-tasking, appeared in all of the show’s skits.
During SNL’s Kanye-themed skit, Glover dropped a video for “This Is America,” a single that includes vocal contributions by Young Thug, 21 Savage, Quavo, Rae Sremmurd’s Slim Jxmmi and BlocBoy JB.
Directed by frequent “Atlanta” director Hior Murai, the music opens with an upbeat spiritual chorus and acoustic guitar riff that’s upended not long after by the song’s ominous-sounding hook.
Throughout the video, a group of relentlessly happy dancers wearing school uniforms performing popular black dance moves (BlocBoy JB’s Shoot, Nene and Gwara Gwara, among others) are contrasted by a shirtless and a seemingly crazed Glover who uses a gun to shoot down defenseless individuals. He begins by shooting a hooded man who has his back to Glover and goes on to use a semi-automatic weapon to take down a church choir (no doubt a reference to the 2015 massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina). In both instances, the guns are carefully cradled and removed from the scene while the victims are dragged off or left unattended.
The movie closes with Glover running for his life, chased by a mob of white people. The video is filled with a diverse array of extras and includes police officers who don’t seem to accomplish much of anything other than adding to the chaos. Look for an individual with a red (Supreme?) money gun (01:30), a group on a elevated platform passively filming the whirling chaos below on their phones (02:27), and a white horse and hooded rider (02:34).
There are sure to be additional cameos (
it appears Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, artist/musician Calvin the Second is the guitar player who opens the video), including a SZA spotting at 03:20.
Glover has said to expect a new album sometime in 2018, his final effort making use of the Childish Gambino name.
Check out “This Is America” below.