Childish Gambino drops new song 'This Is America' — watch

The new era of Childish Gambino is starting off with "This Is America" which shows racial injustice, gun violence, and society ignoring all of it.

Emily Treadgold

Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover dropped "This Is America" and we were not ready for it.


The new song is accompanied by a visual with so many layers that all of social media spent the day deciphering the meaning. The Hiro Murai-directed music video is shot in a fluid format and references significant moments from the past and recent events.


The choreography shifts from gun violence, to suicide, to viral videos. It all starts with a man playing guitar. A shirtless Glover dances and makes faces as a reference to the era of minstrel shows; he even poses in reference to an old Jim Crow poster. A gospel choir sings a light refrain, "We just wanna party, party just for you."


Glover stops and out of nowhere pulls out a gun and shoots the man on the chair. He gently gives the gun to a man and looks at the camera and says, "This is America."


Twitter user @localemo points out, "Guns are treated with more respect than human lives: the gun is carried off carefully by a nicely-dressed man, whereas the corpse is dragged off and immediately disregarded."

This is America (skrrt, skrrt, woo)Dont catch you slippin up (ayy)Look at how Im livin nowPolice be trippin now (woo)Yeah, this is America (woo, ayy)Guns in my area (word, my area)I got the strap (ayy, ayy)I gotta carry em

Gun violence is a prominent theme in the video. The process of the weapon being handed away carefully happens each time its used. In another scene, Glover guns down an entire gospel choir without pause, alluding to the 2015 Charleston Church Massacre. Glover walks away without consequence for his violent crimes.


The choreography itself shows how quickly the media will praise black culture like dancing but ignore racial injustice. Glover and his dancers keep partying and dancing while masked observers look on recording with their phones, while riots and violence remain in the background.

Death is shown riding the pale horse gallops through the background while Hell (represented by the police) follows. It's a reference from the Bible, in Revelations 6:8 it says, "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him."


The ecstatic dancing continues pointing out that even while death is looming, we look toward pop culture to distract us.


The song uses adlibs and features from 21 Savage, Young Thug, BlocBoy JB, Slim Jxmmi, and Quavo. Theres even a cameo from SZA while Glover is dancing on top of the cars. The refrain “get your money, black man” continues. Then, in the end, Glover runs out of what appears to be The Sunken Place, a reference from Jordan Peeles "Get Out" and we can't see who is chasing him.