Childish Gambino’s Adult Reminder: This is America

Tony Robert Cochran

Presidential Election Found As Source Of Increased Stress In New Study By American Psychological Association NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 02: A rolling art installation commenting on the state of politics in America sits in the road in Manhattan on November 2, 2016 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/ Courtesy: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/america-s-election-is-damaging-democracy-a-1120115.html

Childish Gambino’s (b. 1983) Hiro Murai-directed music video This is America captures almost the entirety of the American zeitgeist. Within the confines of an industrial warehouse, Gambino creates multilayered imagery that adumbrates a psychic, social and material picture of America. The setting seems prison-like, yet also light and open. In the first few moments, death comes as Gambino pulls out a handgun and shoots a man in the back of the head; the man, who opens the piece, had been playing the guitar, yet when he’s shot he’s sitting with his head covered. The shot ushers in the line “This is America.” Gambino floats throughout the video, as though he exists in some…

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