‘Here’s this thought. I made a thing out of it, and there’s a whole world contained in there.’ I want you to be able to immerse yourself in it.”
- Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino
Everyone is looking for the deepness in This is America and it’s like a gold hunt, down to the drag-in-the-mud parts. Cruising through comments street on social media, with Twitter being the pack lead of course, I got increasingly amused at the way many were getting all hot and twitchy. It got me wondering if there’s anyone else who thinks all the excitement is like getting all hot and blue-balled without release (in sight).
Sure, the video is shocking. Bizarre. All in your stricken face but you still can’t see it all. It’s a whammer that leaves feeling like w-w-whut? at the end. And I totally LOVE IT. But maybe I’m not woke enough, maybe I got stuck at the shallow end of all the deepness that abounds now, because all the questions I’ve got about the video are way out of the range of the symbolism and deep meanings that seems to be the majority concern.
I’ve got questions like ‘what was his thought process for the video (concept and execution)? What gave him the ideas? Quite important, how did he communicate it to the team?…’ Considering that he has almost always shown a depth of thought and knowledge in his creative projects, This is America is not out of his perceived capacity. However, I am intrigued by the multitude number of layers that exist in this particular video. How was he able to put it all together and still make it seem so seamless?
From majority reactions, I gathered that Donald has carefully curated his image as a lone-wolf in the forest of rappers that we have. He makes no apologies or explanations for who he is and his shortfalls and this has served to make two clear distinctions of people’s reactions to him and his work; like or dislike. I fell in like with his music when I came across 3005, my best song of his. That song hit me in the right places and got me curious about him. I discovered that whether in like or not, one thing that cannot be denied is his creative depth.
Now, the video has over 110 million views on youtube (14:05:2018) and that’s damn great. How hard is it to get people to stop scrolling, watch, rewatch and THINK in this age? You know the answer to that. With this, Donald has catapulted his brand into multiple spheres all at once; intellectual, entertainment, political, academic…you name it. It’s a stone that takes not just two birds, but a chunk of them. On the not so bright side of this is the benchmark he has raised for himself with this. His next production will be watched and picked apart finer than a whisk whips eggs. Fingers crossed that he’ll not go down low with his coming productions.
On a cheeky note, I wonder if he knows the extent to which he done good to the meme-collectors association. So many meme-worthy shots in the video. Plus, how the hell did he get to be chubby and skinny the same time? Okay, I’ll stop right here.