May 8, 2018

Childish Gambino - This is America (video & commentary)

Saturday night Award Winning Actor, Comedian, Writer, Producer and Director Donald Glover hosted Saturday Night Live. Naturally Mr Glover is also a musician and goes by the moniker Childish Gambino, and was also the musical guest on SNL.
During his busy Saturday Night, Childish Gambino found the time to release a video for one of the new singles he performed on the comedy skit program, "This Is America." And holy shit did he deliver!!!

The Hiro Murai-directed video unfolds before us in layers. The first thing most of us notice is Childish himself and his juxtaposition of aggressive and jovial dance moves and expressions. It's not long before you'll recognize the Jim Crow/Minstrel-esque influence behind his moves. And that's just the start of it. Keep watching, and you'll notice that guns are being treated better than the human lives they've snatched, an accurate portrayal of gun control in the USA; that there is a riot going on behind the artist, but we're more focused on the dance moves- a nod to popular media and how they deflect from the real issues facing its viewers, and how the media often changes the narrative surrounding Black America.

One of the most poignant scenes of the video, is when Gambino holds up his empty hand emulating holding a gun, and everyone runs and ducks... because there is nothing more frightening in America than an unarmed black man.

I've already watched 50+ times and something new is unveiled every time: I am certain it is no coincidence that Childish Gambino's pants remind me of the "cotton-picking" uniform of America's slavery-era; or the white horse galloping in the background, ridden by a masked man, symbolizing the coming Apocalypse perhaps?

Needless to say the video is poignant and art at its highest form, with multiple interpretations and nuances to uncover from every angle.
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