Fast forward to 2013, and Jhené Aiko’s Sail Out becomes one of favorite albums. Up pops this name again: Bed Peace ft. Childish Gambino. Despite the fact that I LOVED that verse, I still didn’t check for his music. (Especially since Drake’s Nothing Was the Same dropped around the same time anddddd any other rapper was completely dead to my ears. #SorryNotSorry)
I really couldn’t even tell you when I realized that Childish Gambino and Donald Glover was the same person. Maybe when I found out he was also an actor that starred and directed in this hit show Atlanta that everybody kept talking about. And as trash as I am, I didn’t even pay attention to the buzz surrounding that show until he made an acceptance speech at the 2017 Golden Globes where he shouted out The Migos and their hit single Bad and Boujee. (But by then I traded in my cable for a life of Netflix and chillin’, so I still never got around to watching the show.)
Then Redbone comes out. And it’s all I hear on the radio. I didn’t even know Gloverbino was a singer! More and more podcasts I listened to started to say he had the album of the year, and the 5 Grammy Nominations he received for both Redbone and his album “Awaken, My Love!” should have been enough to convince me to pay attention. (He even won Best Traditional R&B Performance, but the Grammy’s really don’t matter anymore right?)
It wasn’t until this past weekend when my TL went up in flames.
The only Donald currently making America great: pic.twitter.com/05P3ZOEuO1
— Benjamin Bailey (@BenHBailey) May 6, 2018
Donald Glover was trending along with the hashtag #ThisIsAmerica. And all of a sudden, he got my attention. I watched the video nearly five times in a row, before walking away and coming back to watch it again. I’m sure by now you’ve read tons of think pieces about the layers and messages in the song, the brilliance of the video and the genius that is Donald Glover.
Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” he plays a Jim Crow caricature that shows plenty of symbolism through subtle nuances and direct distractions by entertaining through dance and trap lyricism. pic.twitter.com/r6kI7T0MKd
— #AKtheGOAT♒🇬🇾 (@AngelKhalil) May 7, 2018
After a week full of Kanye-Frenzy, I had been so disappointed, hurt, and confused at the direction hip-hop was going. One of our favorite icons had gone to the dark side (or should I say the white side …lol.. that was too easy). The same man that once told the world that the sitting president didn’t care about our people is now showing support for an administration who works full time to oppress the poor, black and brown communities. And here comes Glover with the courage and audacity to say “This is America,” where we value guns more than we do human lives, while simultaneously telling black folk to wake tf up and not be distracted by fads, dances and pop culture.
— Justin Berling (@JustinBerling) May 6, 2018
**SIDE NOTE: I saw fake woke twitter try and cancel Glover for having a white wife. These are the same people screaming “You can be pro-black without being anti-white” whenever its convenient for your narrative. I think y’all need to grow up and start recognizing when someone’s intentions are in the right place! (Just like y’all tried to kill my queen Beyoncé and her incorrect Greek letters at Coachella. Stop it.)
Me when I realized that gambino’s dance moves distracted me from all the craziness happening in the background and that’s exactly the point he’s trying to make… #ThisIsAmerica pic.twitter.com/ZlMxE2VwZV
— Claudia Gonzales (@claudiag0292) May 6, 2018
Anyways, I could go on for days, as I’m sure a lot of your favorite writers will, about the impact that this song, video and statement has made. But I’m not here for that. I’m here to take a play out of Charlemagne Tha God’s playbook and give myself Donkey of the Day for taking 6 years to notice and pay homage to Donald Glover. (Did I even mention he has a lead role in Star Wars?)
My advice? If you haven’t given him his credit by now, then you should too!
Have you seen the “This is America” video? What are your thoughts?? Comment below!