In an exclusive GQ interview, the multi-talented artist opened up about the origins of his controversial 2018 track, released under the pseudonym Childish Gambino. With lyrics and a music video that address themes of social inequality, racial injustice, police brutality, as well as mass shootings and gun violence plaguing the United States, the song continues to resonate with audiences today.
However, Glover has revealed that the track, actually started off as a joke and was intended to be a diss track for the Toronto rap star.
“I had the idea three years before,” he explained. “I told [director] Hiro [Murai] the idea, and he’s like, ‘I really want to do that.’ The idea for the song started as a joke. To be completely honest, ‘This is America’ — that was all we had was that line.
“It started as a Drake diss, to be honest, as like a funny way of doing it. But then I was like, this shit sounds kind of hard though. So I was like, let me play with it.”
Glover also discussed the “This Is America” music video, which he described as “‘We Are The World,’ but in trap,” and how he and Murai created it. He added that him and the director were initially inspired by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.
At the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, the track released in 2018 was awarded Record of the Year and Song of the Year, securing its place as a top winner. Stay updated on the latest music news at our website.