Childish Gambino a.k.a Donald Glover has just dropped new single ‘This Is America’, uploading the video to Youtube during his hosting gig on SNL. His first new music since the release of second LP Awaken My Love in 2016, this is our first taste of what will be Glover’s last album under the Gambino moniker.
Directed by Hiro Murai, the clip is as mesmerising as it is disquieting , the camera trailing Glover as he dances shirtless through a warehouse. Starting off with a shot of a man playing guitar and a choir of joyful voices, the clip quickly changes tone both musically and visually, Glover dancing into frame and shooting a hooded figure in the head. The rest of the video continues in much the same vein, tightly choreographed sequences abruptly cutting to scenes of extreme violence. This is an accurate mirror of the song itself, which wavers between the lighthearted (“We just wanna party/Party just for you“) and the political (“This is America/ Police be trippin’ now…Guns in my area”). It is in stark contrast to the feel good vibes of ‘Saturday’, the other song Glover debuted on SNL, more in keeping with the old school funk sound of his last release.
Whilst Glover is remaining tight lipped on details of his next album, he has in the past revealed he will be retiring the Gambino name after its release. Set to tour the US later this year with Rae Sremmurd and Vince Staples, he announced early this year via his phone app that he will be bringing his immersive festival experience Pharos to New Zealand in November. Hopefully some more Aussie and NZ tour dates aren’t too far away.