We’re sure this was no coincidence. Just a few weeks after Cardi B made use of the Saturday Night Live stage to confirm buzzing pregnancy rumors and set the Internet ablaze, Donald Glover has made use of his evening as both host and musical guest as Childish Gambino, on the season opener of the sketch comedy show to drop off his newest offering since delivering on his Grammy-nominated Awaken, My Love! effort, save for the digital re-release of his first EP back in January.
First premiered through a live performance on SNL, the new track “This Is America” arrives packaged in a cinematic clip directed by Hiro Murai. While we’re initially greeted by a melodic introduction reminiscent of the more soulful sound adopted in his last project, we’re quickly hit with a change of pace as he reverts back to the form with which earlier fans are familiar, rapping over the backdrop, crafted by Doomsday with Ibra Ake and Fam Rothstein of Wolf + Rothstein.
While the clip seems to take on a more upbeat pace, once the smoke clears Gambino’s stance aligns itself with a fairly bleak and satirical look at all the vices that frankly “make America great.”
If this new cut is indicative of shift in content for Childish Gambino, we’re certainly not mad at it. “This Is America” finds itself in the company of a host of one-off songs and full-length outings from his contemporaries directly challenging the way of life in the United States, specifically as it relates to the experiences of Black Americans. This one just may go over a few heads, but the best things always do.