Let me say this straight out. WE DO NOT ENDORSE SECULAR MUSIC HERE AT C1 RADIO! That needed to be said because an article like this tends to start speculations about a trend in certain entities. Our Mission is still the same which is to “Inform, Inspire, and Entertain”. The purpose of THIS post is to start a conversation. Not just to talk about what we’ve just seen, but to unpack it, and see if there’s a certain sense of responsibility we can take from it.
On May 5, 2018 Childish Gambino the alter ego of one Donald Glover (whom i can’t wait to see as Lando Calrissian in the new Solo movie) Released a video called “This is America” Which was then performed live on Saturday Night Live later that night. This video is as frightening as they come. Not because of the imagery you see in the first 30 seconds of the video, but because of the imagery you don’t see… or was meant for you to be distracted from seeing.
Let’s address the Panther in the room shall we? We’re talking a VERY African sounding track produced by Doomsday with Ibra Ake and Fam Rothstein, and with everyone’s “Wakanda Craze” going on this was more than a strategic move to get the ears popped. So now that they have your attention let’s do some redirects! Here’s the video! We’ll unpack after you watch.
***WARNING! GRAPHIC MATERIAL IS IN THIS VIDEO***
OK so the first thing we see is chair, gutiar, a man and some talent, followed by a shirtless Gambino dancing an BOOM! the first shock of the show… but did you see how the gun was presented? or were you so in awe you missed that piece of worship? OK let’s move on. WAIT! Did you see the pose he shot with? ok, ok I digress?
AWE LOOK Kids are Dancing! Cute… Let’s just ignore everything that happens because kids are dancing and displaying moves obviously from pop cult… I mean our heritage.. or.. are we pantomiming something? What say ye? I’m moving on…
Notice the the exaggerated facial expressions on Glover’s face throughout the entire video look like something we’ve seen before huh? It gets better! I promise.
Around the 1:48 mark we enter the church choir: A Happy, joy singing jubilant choir i might add. While they’re singing telling you to “Tell somebody” our main character comes in to frame again dancing! Happy, and before you know it it all quickly fades away and… worship for the gun comes out again. and and before you know it a riot breaks ou…. HEY LOOK THE KIDS ARE DANCING AGAIN… wait are they doing that new dance I just….
So while this is all happening kids with they’re mouths tide are getting ALL THIS FOOTAGE on cell phones! Sad Ain’t it… but you prolly didn’t catch that one either! and Behold the rider of the pale horse strolls through the chaos… YES that was a biblical reference!
Next shot we see the monkey dance to the chorus of “Getcho money black man” on top of a car surrounded by cars that are empty and have lost their value! but go on and dance and getcho money! Oh Hi SZA!!!
Last but not least we see (what some say is the sunken place) what is clearly the shot of a runaway slave being chased my modern day white people. Thing about this last scene is they weren’t police officers chasing him and he wasn’t the only one being chased. So let’s look at the entire video through retrospect and notice the entire time HE WAS A SLAVE KILLING AND DISTRACTING HIS OWN PEOPLE! WOW!
I’m looking at the video through one lens and I know I couldn’t catch everything. So what did I miss? Comment below and let me know what your thoughts are on this video. It’s no where NEAR a christian Hip Hop song, but we at C1 feel this is a topic worth a discussion. Let’s be respectful to each other and let’s unpack this video fruitfully!