THE MAN WITH MANY FACESBy Ammero
What’s good America? How was the weekend? Like most of us we got a chance to see Childish Gambino AkA Mr. Donald Glover on SNL dropping his new hit single “ This is America” and just when you think you got over the whole Kanye West rants Childish Gambino drops a thought-provoking video that did not lack in imagery or wordplay. Childish Gambino has made headline an not based on the fact he was thoughtless but for the fact he was thoughtful.
Donald Glover or Childish Gambino or like I like to call him the man with many faces is a rarity in today's music/entertainment scene. When he's not killing the TV scene with his hit show on FX or winning Grammys the NYU graduate is constantly showing his creativity and imagination which is lacking in the game right now. On his newest single ‘This is America’ Glover shows how much depth he has and how he sees America thru his own lenses. Now a lot of people related the video to the struggle of today's African -Americans an I can see that. There was a scene reminiscent of the church shooting in South Carolina in which Glover mows down a church choir with an automatic weapon. Glover also uses clever lyrics to provide an interesting outlook into the everyday life of young Americans. The track which was very rhythmic with a trap feel used African dance and sounds to provide a backdrop for the shirtless Gambino. Most people I spoke with felt he was speaking to the struggle of black America but I took another view to it.
In my perspective, I think he was talking about the struggle or the things we all see in America. What I took from it was people do whatever they want to steal, kill, etc and don't care who it affects. Also, he had help doing all those bad things he did (ie friends, family, yes men) and in the end, he was running from all of it by himself. I know that Childish Gambino is thoughtful and is very deep so i would like to believe he was going deep on this one.
America you and I know both violence is not just restricted to one community so i think he was showing how our American culture can be loving and a detriment to us also. Showing us how we as a nation may value some things that aren't always good but they are a necessary part of America.. In all, I loved the video love CHILDISH GAMBINO any time a song can make u think then its worthy of praise. Childish Gambino is on tour now. Check out the video comment on the blog and make sure to tune in. once again be thoughtful of your actions and go in peace.. Thanks an I'm gone...PEACE
Childish Gambino “This Is America” Hit Music Video by Donald Glover
By Carol Ealey
Donald Glover’s talent was on full display this past weekend when he hosted Saturday Night Live. He’s an actor but with his performance via his alter ego Childish Gambino we witnessed a dynamic performance of his new video “This Is America”. Watch the full version on YouTube several times to catch all of the symbolism in the video. The video is dark, and harsh, and smacks you in the face about gun violence in America, specifically gun violence against black Americans. His interpretation of the gun violence is what makes this video important and relevant for today. The symbolism from gun violence to a looming apocalypse, with hidden meanings, will definitely generate useful discussion about our violent America. So here’s my take on what I think the symbolism means in the video. The man strumming the guitar - At the beginning of the video, a man who looks like Trayvon Martin's father plays the guitar. It's a moment that gives a nod to the murder of Trayvon Martin. Glover shooting the man playing a guitar - The guitar-playing man ends up with a hood covering his head as Glover strikes a Jim Crow pose before shooting him. Throughout the video, Glover’s dance moves reference Jim Crow blackface musical themes and popular South African dance moves. The red cloth - This piece of fabric - brought out by a well-dressed man - is used to carefully cover the gun Glover used to shoot the guitar-playing man. It alludes to the fact that guns are prized above people to many Americans. As the dead man's body is dragged off-screen, Glover continues to smile and dance as if nothing is wrong: as if a black body isn't worth as much as the gun that was used for murder. The murder of the choir - Glover addresses gun violence by shooting an assault rifle at a harmless church choir. It's a reference to the 2015 massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The kids dancing - A group of kids who dance around Glover represents how the world consumes social media and entertainment as the world burns around them. The kids are wearing uniforms that South African students wear and are dancing to Bloc boy JB's shoot dance to the gwara-gwara - a South African dance. The dancing also seems to be a sense of pride and protection from the chaos of the world. Glover’s lyrics – Throughout the video Glover references rap themes of “Black man get your money”, “Living Large” , “We Want to Party”, while continuing to dance seemingly oblivious to the chaos going on in the background of murder and mayhem in the black community. Traffic Stop Killings and Older Cars – the older cars in the video with their doors ajar reference the murder of Philando Castile who was murdered in his late model car and all of the other black men murdered in and around their cars at police traffic stops. Hooded figure on a horse - A hooded figure riding a white horse gallops across the screen so quickly you might miss it, but it is likely a reference to the Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the Bible. In other words, it refers to the end of the world. According to the Bible, the first horse was white, which mimics the imagery found in "This Is America." At the end of the video Glover is running wild-eyed in the warehouse which seems to reference the movie “Get Out” as he looks to escape. It references “the Sunken Place”, the mental space where the main character Chris goes after he’s been brainwashed, unable to control his body. Hopefully, this video will force discussions about gun violence in America, race relations, and our seeming wiliness to accept America’s love of guns, merrily singing and dancing while America ultimately implodes. This Is America! C. Ealey