Childish Gambino debuted a new track on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. “This Is America,” starts out as a fun, upbeat anthem. The gospel sounding choir trill and riff before accompanying the first sounds of Gambino’s voice. “We just want the money. Money Just For you. I know you want to Party. Party just for free.” These lyrics are representative of the selfish culture we have grown to accept and understand. The American dream is quite the contrast to the reality of everyday life in America. The song itself is directly tackling America’s ever worrying issues with race and gun violence.
While the beginning of the track is fun and carefree this state of euphoria is abruptly interrupted by a more sinister tone. The change in tone is a juxtaposition which effectively highlights ideal vs reality. The reality being that race and gun violence are still two prominent issues that aren’t being dealt with. The song is accompanied by an extremely confronting video which has already surpassed 27 million views on Youtube. The video follows Childish Gambino as he dances meanwhile violence breaks out around him. The video graphically depicts gun violences in multiple scenarios and a disturbing scene where he is seen dancing with school children while horrific violence breaks out around them. For a lot of children in America this is the harsh truth. Children should have a carefree childhood no matter their skin tone. They should get an education no matter their parents income. They should be protected by the law for no other reason than the fact they are human.
It’s 2018 but still there is so much to be done. Gun violence won’t sole itself. Race issues won’t solve themselves. Childish Gambino has begun a discussion, already opened 28.8 million minds (and that’s just the people who’ve watched on Youtube and listened on Spotify), to the issues that plague a country where people are supposed to be free. A country where dreams are there to be achieved. This is America, but America needs to change.