Donald Glover, who goes the rapper name Childish Gambino, premiered a new music video over the weekend as a commentary on gun violence.
In the video, Gambino uses various guns to slaughter people in the background, including opening fire with a machine gun on a church choir.
In the video, a shirtless Glover sings and dances to distract from the violence behind him. Many are so focused on his performance, they miss pivotal points—much like distractions in the gun control debate, commentators say.
KHAL writes for Complex:
Very early on, an actor by the name of Calvin The Second (who definitely resembles Trayvon Martin's father Tracy, but is not, in fact, Tracy Martin) strums on a guitar to the track. By the time the camera moves with Gambino back to the chair the man was sitting on; he now has a hood covering his head, and Gambino's standing behind him, hitting a terribly familiar Jim Crow pose, before aiming a gun and shooting the man through the head. A well-dressed person in a polo shirt and slacks then brings a red cloth out so Gambino can carefully place the gun into it. This special cloth makes it clear there's real care and consideration given to how the firearm is being handled. Meanwhile, the dead man's body is left lying on the ground, only to be dragged off-screen, all while Gambino continues his performance, smiling and dancing like nothing has happened, as if that black body isn't worth anywhere near as much as the instrument used to end its life. A similar moment of gun violence during a happier singing sequence happens later, after Gambino uses an assault rifle to mow down a church choir.
The guns many say they acquire to protect their lives end up being more important than the growing number of lives taken by police officers on a disturbingly-regular basis. The church choir sequence is even more tragic when you realize that it's more than likely a reference to that horrific 2015 massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Immediately after he takes someone out, Gambino looks right into the camera and starts his verse with the phrase: "This is America." You can't get more direct than that.
Some of the lyrics include:
This is America (skrrt, skrrt, woo)/ Don't catch you slippin' up (ayy)
Look at how I'm livin' now/ Police be trippin' now (woo)
Yeah, this is America (woo, ayy)/ Guns in my area (word, my area)
I got the strap (ayy, ayy)/ I gotta carry 'em
Yeah, yeah, I'ma go into this (ugh)/ Yeah, yeah, this is guerilla (woo)
Yeah, yeah, I'ma go get the bag/ Yeah, yeah, or I'ma get the pad
Yeah, yeah, I'm so cold like yeah (yeah) /I'm so dope like yeah (woo)
We gon' blow like yeah (straight up, uh)
Charisma News will not link to the video, as it contains mature content.
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