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Donald Glover Says "This Is America? Was Originally a Drake Diss Track"

Donald Glover Says "This Is America? Was Originally a Drake Diss Track"

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Childish Gambino's iconic song, "This Is America," made waves in 2018 by storming the music world with its uncompromising political message that tackled issues like police brutality and gun violence head-on.

In a GQ Magazine cover story, Glover revealed the song was originally intended as a humorous Drake diss track.

What Is America?

Childish Gambino may have earned four Grammy Awards for his 2018 hit "This Is America," but the multi-hyphenate admits the song began as a humorous diss track. In an exclusive GQ cover story interview, Glover revealed the song's original intentions were simple: to poke fun at Drake.

At an Australian concert in 2014, Glover's rapper alter ego started a one-sided feud with Drake by proclaiming his bravado superior to Drizzy, Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q combined. But later he explained it was all part of his act.

After their feud was resolved, it is reported that Gambino and her ex-fiance have become close friends and collaborated on projects together over time. This culminated in Gambino's 2018 hit song which earned both Record and Song of the Year accolades at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.

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Other noteworthy cities include Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia. These places are renowned for their iconic architecture as well as the cultural impact they have on the world.

The United States, consisting of 50 states and over 328 million people, is the third most populous nation worldwide and by area one of the biggest.

In addition to its diverse population, the United States is also renowned for its numerous attractions and landmarks. Popular tourist destinations include the Grand Canyon and Washington, DC.

This vast and stunning country is a haven for artists and musicians, boasting many of the world's top talents. With an ethnically diverse population, abundant resources, and longstanding democratic tradition, it has grown into one of the world's most powerful and dominant nations.

Why Was It a Diss Track?

Since 2018, this song has become a massive success, garnering significant media coverage for its poignant commentary on race and police brutality in America. It was even nominated for a Grammy Award this year!

In a GQ cover story interview, Glover revealed the song was originally intended as a Drake diss track. In 2014, he started an intense feud with Drizzy when he said his alter ego was "better than" Drake, Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q combined while performing at an Australian gig.

Glover initially stated he didn't intend to make a "diss record," but ultimately felt it needed more substance than just being an insult towards Drake. So instead of making lighthearted fun of Drake, Glover turned his focus towards something meaningful instead.

He said the song was inspired by Michael Jackson's iconic Thriller video and Young Thug suggested making a "We Are The World"-type of anthem. After studying this iconic video for some time, they used it as inspiration to craft an uptempo piece that would get people talking about the issues he was passionate about.

In the end, it achieved this success and earned its artist both Grammy awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Glover's song has been hailed for its message of hope, yet to release it in 2018 he had to overcome many obstacles. He even battled against a plagiarism lawsuit filed by Kidd West who accused him of stealing his 2016 hit "Made In America," which many credit as one of the major factors in his rise to fame.

In 2021, a federal New York judge dismissed Glover's copyright infringement suit and allowed him to release his song. As an actor on Emmy-winning show Atlanta (2016-22), Glover had evidence that the rapper had copied his lyrics incorrectly.

Glover's song has only grown in popularity with this victory, now considered a classic and sure to remain an influential anthem for years to come.

What Is It All About?

One week has passed since rapper Donald Glover (A.K.A Childish Gambino) debuted the video for his highly-anticipated single, "This Is America." The 4-minute masterpiece quickly went viral on YouTube and continues to generate excitement across social media platforms.

Ludwig Goransson, an Oscar-winning composer and producer who worked on Community and The Greatest Showman, created the video. It features contributions from Young Thug, Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd, BlocBoy JB and Quavo of Migos. With over 50 million views on YouTube, "Nice for What" surpassed Drake's "Nice for What" to become the number one song on US Billboard Hot 100; becoming Glover's first top 10 entry and 31st song to reach this peak on chart history.

Many viewers were stunned by the video's visual effects and found it to be one of the most captivating pieces of music they had ever witnessed. Particularly impressive were futuristic gunfire shots, car crashes and dance moves.

Some viewers noted the subtle yet poignant detail of a white stallion galloping in the background, which they noted as an allusion to biblical references about pale horses heralding doomsday. Others argued that the sea of beat-up cars served as an economic metaphor for lack of mobility among black communities, particularly following recent high-profile police shootings across cities across America.

Glover refused to provide an explanation of "This Is America," despite all of its hyped-up references. But his creative director did provide some insight into its message in an interview with Tanzina Vega on WNYC's The Takeaway show. Ake explained that the music video serves to normalize blackness in America by serving as a way for the country to overcome its "metaphorical muzzling."

What Does It Mean?

Glover recently spoke with GQ magazine and revealed that his 2018 hit song "This Is America" wasn't originally intended as a diss track against Drake; rather, it became an inspiring political statement that rocked pop culture in 2018.

Glover and director Hiro Murai use the song to explore themes such as police brutality, gun violence and immigrant rights. He also features vocalists such as Young Thug and 21 Savage on board for this project.

He employs a variety of symbols in the song to represent important issues affecting people of color. For instance, he uses a guitar as metaphor for his frustration with police and dances to demonstrate his anger at the shooting of unarmed black men.

Glover said he and his team took inspiration from the iconic video for "Thriller" when creating this song's music video. They studied the original video to try and replicate its feel, but weren't successful.

As the video progresses, we see a choir singing and dancing. Soon, a bearded man enters the scene playing an instrument, quickly shooting everyone in the choir. Later on, shirtless Donald Glover enters to dance and shoot another person from behind.

The song has since become a symbol of opposition against police brutality and lack of empathy towards gun violence victims. Beyond its social impact, the tune has also garnered widespread recognition from fans.

Glover revealed to GQ during an interview that the music video for "This Is America" was heavily inspired by Michael Jackson's iconic movie, "Thriller." He and his team spent considerable time studying the iconic visuals from that iconic film to understand how they could compel viewers to engage with what was going on around them.

Glover credits Trayvon Martin's 2014 death as inspiration for his song and video. Additionally, he mentions how protests were taking place at that time as being another source of inspiration for him.

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