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This Is America

2018        Childish Gambino

9.56/109 ratings

directed by:
Hiro Murai

The video starts with a shirtless Gambino dancing through a warehouse, interacting with a series of chaotic scenes. According to director Hiro Murai, the video was inspired by the films Mother! and City of God. It's dense with commentary on racism throughout American history.


Hip hop

top lists:

Grammy Best Music Video
Grammy Best Music Video Nominee
Parade's Best Music Videos of All Time
VMA Video of the Year Nominee

Critics’ Takes:

“it is a powerful and poignant allegorical portrait of 21st Century America, which warrants a place among the canonical depictions of the USA from Grant Wood’s American Gothic to Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, from Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware to America the Beautiful by Norman Lewis.” – Will Gompertz, BBC

“He’s talking about the contradictions of trying to get money, the idea of being a black man in America. It comes out of two different sound worlds. Part of the brilliance of the presentation is that you go from this happy major mode of choral singing that we associate with South African choral singing, and then after the first gunshot it moves right into the trap sound.” – Prof. Guthrie Ramsey, University of Pennsylvania

Video description adapted from Wikipedia. This portion of the page is under the CC-BY-SA license.

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