Breaking Down The Satire And Symbolism In Childish Gambino’s New Music Video | NBC News

Publicat pe 10 mai. 2018
Donald Glover’s (A.K.A. Childish Gambino) controversial new music video, “This is America,” addresses gun violence and is filled with symbolism that may not be noticed at first watch.
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Breaking Down The Satire And Symbolism In Childish Gambino’s New Music Video | NBC News


  • ...Thanks for this waste of time nbc, I actually thought I would learn something from this video. Boy was that my mistake

  • I think no one in these comment are right. Not even the people who are calling out others. The point of the song was to get a conversation going. The point of the song was to have people argue about the meaning of the song. That’s what America is! Everyone argues over everything! That was the true point of the song! it was about a conversation. And obviously, that worked.

  • Childish Gambino is a “Brilliant Genius” It’s funny how saying nothing can say a lot! But showing something can mean a lot. America ALLOW POLICE to treat copper colored people HORRIBLE!!! America DONT CARE ABOUT the TRUE “Indigenous” people OF AMERICA!!!!!! MY PEOPLE BEEN PRAYING FOR AMERICA since OUR 12 TRIBES were SCATTERED AROUND THE WORLD!!!!🙏🏽🌍

  • Can we all just agree that the world is stupid, we all hate each other, and it would be better if we just got along instead of hating on each other for the past and our differences.

  • I didn’t get it before but now I do.

  • Never heard of this clown until now. I don't see what the big deal is. The song sucks, he needs to keep a shirt on because he looks gross, he can't dance, and the facial expressions he makes make me want to punch him in the face.


  • Most talented person I've seen in a long time.

  • this is CRAP... its officially time to keep your kids off youTUBE.

  • Did anyone see the dude that fell

  • Why isn't this video banned?

  • Besides the legend

  • Not much of a breakdown... more of just listing sequences and pointing out the obvious.

  • Incredible piece of work, if anyone is genius IT IS THIS MAN! thought provoking and well beyond, he is not a self proclaimed anything, which is what makes him an amazing artist. That within 1 video has taken North America by storm and awakened us all is a testament to his stunning voice of work!!!! Can't say enough! BRILLIANT!

  • Literally cancer.

  • Shut up nbc.


  • When The part of him say that cellphones are a tool that means people nowadays people document Evreything and instead of people looking at the real world instead their looking at trends like in the video the background all the bad stuff happening and the trends covering them up we need help !

  • Race baiting bullshot. Nothing but asswipe.

  • I’d love to see your video about what themes you see in clouds. It’d make more sense than this.

  • you missed something..... in the background when he was dancing with the school kids there was a white horse.......chasing the

  • Pure Genius.😌

  • America is the continent. Not just United States. USA MASSIVE IGNORANCE

  • America is the continent. Not just United States. USA MASSIVE IGNORANCE.

  • Wow black people! This is such a great accomplishment. Wow this is so deep and meaningful. Wow. I’m so glad this is our pop music now.

  • NBC is susspect

  • Everyone’s focusing on this crap. It’s CRAP. Why don’t you realize

  • We all just move on about the gun violence because there's a new top trending video we can watch and forget everything.

    • Let's talk about where most gun violence takes place and by who. African American gang members with illegally obtained firearms in mainly democrat cities and states.

    • And all the dances he's doing we see famous people doing them today and there already been done for many years in churches seminaries. We just keep in the circle of forget and remember later. Or just make a day for it.

  • I really think y'all need to do a deeper review. For instance, the various messages in one shot--- for instance look at the second to final scene when he's dancing on a car and notice how his is also a throw back to Michael Jackson in that iconic scene in the 90's about the black struggle. Also, notice, he's more asking a question than stating obvious facts. Think about it-- as intended-- it starts with an old black tone- given light then you see a literal assignation. Which is not a coincidence. So we got and example of old time blackisms then hope only to have it killed off initially-- then he proceeded to distract us, as media does, but it doesn't stop- because the violence continues. He's basically asking- 'how much do we have to pay before we're truly free" by the end of the video. Powerful stuff. He also grew up JW, much like myself, but I won't get into that landscape here. His message is a thoughtful one. Why is the white counterpart always agreeable, while his black compatriots -if taken the same recourse- vilified so easily-- AND why, in media, does the darker man have to be more primal/aggressive/ counter culture in order to succeed than their white brethren?! And why does mass media love to sell vile real representations of their darker skinned brethren than their white brothers?

  • FDT

  • FDT

  • It's quite very ominous and gets my attention. What genre of music does this fall under? They're pushing the message of hate, division, racism, and social injustices only to lead us to civil war and downfall with fomenting this, 'black man, get your money,' ideology. This isn't to say there isn't hate, division, racism, and social injustice for American capitalism has done a terrific job at cementing all these most terrible qualities that now clearly defines what America supports and stands behind unlike how years ago it was assumed we stood only for equality, democracy, liberty, social justice, and human rights protections for all of humanity to unite in a global scale democracy that was supposed to have mutually come about in 21st century now. The white horse symbolizes war. Good thing it's not yet the red horse meaning civil war or the pale blue horse meaning the end of America or the world and humanity though I'm sure that's coming in 2020 or not long there after. The establishment behind our media, music, politics, and economics is always pushing now to carry out the biblical prophecy of the Revelation.

    • Without capitalism black people would still be sitting at the back of the bus because with capitalism people were able to boycott busses after Rosa Parks was arrested and those busses went out of business. On the other hand things like Jim Crow was made by the government if you are going to blame any racial injustice on anything it would be the government.


  • Thank you for the review. This music video is a real piece of art. I liked it but as far as it referencing "red America's valuing guns over people's lives." I reject that. Maybe I can express an alternate view and have this to say: For society to work it has to have a central ideal, a unifying tenant, not for all things but on some meaningful level. For country as diverse as this one, with religious tolerance and freedom for all, that thing is in my opinion the Bill of Rights. Not to exclude the importance of love. Brotherly love is everything but the symbolic ideal that guides us a governed entity is Freedom and the Bill of Rights. Not everyone is buying into that. I believe that today, unlike in decades not so distantly past, that this country is trying earnestly to "live out the true meaning of its creed." To that end the Bill of Rights is there for you; to keep you safe. It values life. We're all a part of that. It's there for us and I will always be steadfast in refusing to abandon it. There are places in this world today without that ideal. They're not good places. In our own history look to slavery and Jim Crow laws. Blacks in this country especially had to fight hard to be included in it. No, it wasn't written with Blacks in mind but that all people now find themselves under it's umbrella is something to be thankful for, not bitter about. You can see other examples in history, countless examples. 10's of millions died in the Gulags of Communist Russia as a direct result of the identity politics now being played in America. Identity politics say that your identity in the group is more important than your identity as an individual, here the group is based around race or Gender. In Nazi Germany it Jews and 6 million of them got killed by Hitler. That same murderous ideology is being begged for today by the same people who seek to vilify our individual freedoms guaranteed under the Bill of Rights. These are real examples of what has already happened. Today, I was listening on NPR to a Civil Rights Activist by the name of Charles E. Cobb Jr, 74 years old at the moment, who I think would agree with what I'm saying. The Americans that enjoy the freedoms of today do so because of the sacrifice of those that came before them, who fought for them, in the revolution, in the wars and most recently in the name of civil rights. Gun ownership too is a civil right. Rights are duty. What this video points out so well is that we need to have our eyes open, objectively, to the world around us, like the background video. We all have to take ownership in our house first, then our street, then our block, then our state, to maintain for each other what those that came before us earned through sacrifice. Rights aren't the problem. They're a responsibility that allows us to function together, with love, and to exercise free speech in discussion of art like this. It has to be maintained with the best possible understanding and free from the games of identity politics and hateful rhetoric so popular in the media today. The problems caused by those is what I see in the background of this video. You can say that the point is right wingers valuing guns over life but I have to respectfully disagree.

  • I actually don’t think the Jim Crow stance was what he was going for. Just seems to different. He could’ve put his arm that wasn’t holding the gun in his hip. Not complaining just I think someone was stretching for that comparison.

  • Suscribe please

  • Sad that you all you could pick out of this was the part about gun violence, which is a fairly small part of the whole performance.

  • I thought something seemed off about that song

  • I think this video shows how dumb people are. Cuz there's videos like this one analyzing it like people need help. It's pretty straight forward. Make a video analyzing the Beatles lol. I Love Glover's video tho.

  • When I watched the music vid I didn't notice the burning car

  • Lmao, everyone in the comments is going off about how this is 100% wrong. How exactly?

  • Why did they have to censor the volience like this is "This Is America" for "Kidz Bop". It's like broadcast tv violence I saw this at my school uncensored Jesus Christ. Is this 🤔

  • BRAVO DONALD GLOVER! We get distracted from the gun violence in america ..until the next school shooting, church shooting, unarmed black man being shot, Slippin' into instagram and Facebook and reality stars (I'm so pretty). How long ago were those people shot in their church 2015? 2016? had we moved on to the next thing. Someone was makin' in rain in the back, some people get distracted by SZA inthe video. The grim reaper on a white horse is in the Bible (Revelation) 1st sign of the end of days. Notice when its black on black shooting nothing happens to him, but when a black man gets caught with weed , that when there are consequences! and he's chased by a white mob. ... Now will we get distracted tomorrow?

  • Everyone says ' genius, just genius' but I disagree. He is a master at his craft and this is his opus, his musical swan song. Since he announced he is leaving the moniker and we are told he is leaving the medium of music altogether? And why, his answer is in the video. Which is purely art, symbolic, purposeful in message, yes entertaining but it seems the medium has failed (what once was protest is now just mass commercial opiod?) and perhaps the fans fail to get the message. The video ends as a fighting pit, and lastly a house of horrors, even perhaps a civil rights museum as he might depict it. Great price of art, I hope it ends up in a museum of sorts. Sadly or not it isn't even trending top 50; just 1 week later.

  • You know how you solve gun violence? *BY ARMING MENTALLY STABLE CITIZENS!*

  • 'police be tripping though or doh'' wow that was so deep

  • notice the 17 seconds of no music in the official video to represent marjory stoneman

  • OHh you don't say???? Jeez tell me something I don't know NBC

  • They forgot about the white horse and the man in black witch it means death

  • This song was about what media makes it look like then NBC pulls this.

  • I think the kids dancing represents how kids these days just fallow social media trends and they are almost blind about the world around them. I think they are yes dancing to show how many act and don’t care about the shooting, and to distract you to see their point of view.

  • 1. Like this comment 2. Sub to me 3. Comment done 4. I will sub to you back if you unsub I unsub

  • this is a stupid video nbc

  • That's a kid getting a gun

  • "After a man enter screen and takes the gun away with a soft cloth." WRONG! ...CHildren are assimilated into filthy RAP CULTURE FROM BIRTH. ..."Everyone notices the gun, the cloth; and that the cloth is "soft". But, PEOPLE have not NOTICED .."THE CHILDREN".... MAYBE, ITS BECAUSE THEY ARE "BLACK" ......CHILDREN AND THEY ARE "DANCING". MAYbe, THIS IS ALSO APART OF GAMBINO's plan. To show America how we've let our CHILDREN deteriorate into a CULTURE OF DEBACHARY... THE CHILDREN THAT ARE DANCING HAVE ON PRIVATE SCHOOL CLOTHES ; Which IMPLIES THAT :They are being indoctrinated on every socioeconomic LEVEL....THE CHILDREN WITH PHONES RECORD AND ARE LOOK OUTS. A MAN DON'T ENTER THE SCENE AND GET THE GUN..!........A..... "BOY"... ENTERS THE SCENE AND GET THE GUN,. of the dancing school CHILDREN.... THEY GO RIGHT BACK TO DANCING. Those school children in the video play APART in the killing. They are in the forefront. They are center stage. And yet in all the critiques no one sees them. Really. ... THEY DISTRACT YOU.

  • just leave it to rap genius

  • Is this suppose to be the right way to show our youth the best way to be? I hope it is banned.

  • Wow

  • Donald Glover is using the coincidence of his first name matching Trump's as a meta-criticism. Pay attention at 0:51, where @Luvvie correctly points out that you should ignore Donald and focus on the background. In the same way, it's a commentary about how people should stop focusing on Donald Trump's antics and pay attention to the world around them. We are focusing on the wrong things. The violence of racism, sexism, and poverty is caused by capitalism, and that's what we need to focus on.

    • Facts. People are so quick to watch Trump's actions

    • Yep.

    • We've got a communist

  • But like they didn’t even talk about the white horse in the background, the last horse of the apocalypse in Revelations symbolizing death.