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“This Is America” – a representation of modern America?

Aesha Falcon, Editor

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Controversial? Confusing? Intense? Beautiful? “This Is America,” the music video for rapper Childish Gambino’s new hit song, has gained an overwhelming amount of attention after its release and has sparked much question to what its underlying message truly reveals. Within 24 hours of the video’s release, Gambino has received over 10 million views.

Yet the music video itself has viewers divided. Mitchell Peters of Billboard magazine writes, “The four-minute clip, a stunning statement about violence and gun control in America, has received overwhelmingly positive feedback on social media, from Erykah Badu tweeting that Donald Glover (Gambino’s real name) is a ‘genius,’ to other fans praising it as a shoe-in for video of the year.” On the opposite side, some described the clip as ‘evil garbage,’ noting the extreme, hard-hitting violence. Many also pondered the various elements of symbolism hidden within the clip.

The video also makes references to a number of current events, including the Charleston shooting and the Black Lives Matter protests.

This music video not only pushes the boundaries of expressive entertainment but is captivating. Throughout the music video, Gambino can be seen performing crazy to modern dance moves as insane events happen all around him – the reason for his absurd dance moves is to mask the riots happening behind them. A Twitter user argued, “Childish Gambino’s dance moves distracted all of us from the craziness that was happening in the background of the video & that’s exactly the point he’s trying to make.”

Is Childish Gambino just another music icon trying to use shocking imagery to drum up music sales? Or is this an accurate representation of modern America? Ultimately, it is up to the viewer to decide.

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“This Is America” – a representation of modern America?