Childish Gambino - This Is America - 2018

Introduction to "This Is America" by Childish Gambino

Childish Gambino's "This Is America" is a powerful song that has captivated audiences worldwide. Released in 2018, it quickly became famous for its vivid and symbolic music video, as well as its impactful lyrics that comment on social and political issues in America, especially regarding race, gun violence, and the black experience. The song is a mixture of rap, gospel, and Afrobeat influences, showcasing Childish Gambino's, also known as Donald Glover's, versatility as an artist. Let's dive deeper into the significance of "This Is America".

Background and Production

"This Is America" was written by Donald Glover and Ludwig Göransson, with Göransson also handling the production. The song features background vocals by various artists including Young Thug, 21 Savage, Quavo, and Slim Jxmmi, adding layers to its complex narrative.

Music Video Analysis

The music video for "This Is America" is as significant as the song itself. Directed by Hiro Murai, it's filled with symbolism and hidden messages that have been widely analyzed and discussed. The video juxtaposes cheerful dance moves and dark, violent imagery to highlight the contrast between the entertainment industry and the real social issues plaguing America.

Key Symbols in the Video

  1. Dance Moves: Representing distraction from the real issues.
  2. Gun Violence: A recurring and jarring motif in the video.
  3. Choir Scene: A reference to the Charleston church shooting.
  4. Horseman in the Background: An allusion to the biblical Four Horsemen, symbolizing death and disaster.

Lyrics and Themes

The lyrics of "This Is America" are a mix of playful and grim, reflecting the complexity of American culture and social issues. The song discusses gun violence, racism, and the black experience in America, while also touching on materialism and popular culture.

Impact and Reception

Upon its release, "This Is America" received widespread acclaim for its bold commentary and innovative presentation. It won several awards, including a Grammy for Record of the Year and Best Music Video.

Quiz: Questions on the Song

What year was "This Is America" released? (2018) (!2016) (!2017) (!2019)

Who directed the music video for "This Is America"? (Hiro Murai) (!Donald Glover) (!Spike Jonze) (!Melina Matsoukas)

Which of these themes is NOT prominently featured in "This Is America"? (!Gun Violence) (Relationship Advice) (!Racism) (!The Entertainment Industry)

What musical styles are blended in "This Is America"? (Rap, Gospel, and Afrobeat) (!Jazz, Blues, and R&B) (!Rock, Pop, and Soul) (!Country, Folk, and Reggae)

Who is the main artist behind "This Is America"? (Childish Gambino) (!Kendrick Lamar) (!J. Cole) (!Drake)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer (Childish Gambino)

What is Childish Gambino's real name? (Donald Glover) (!Daniel Glover) (!Darius Glover) (!Damian Glover)

Apart from being a musician, what else is Donald Glover known for? (Acting and Writing) (!Painting and Sculpting) (!Dancing and Choreography) (!Cooking and Baking)

Which TV series did Donald Glover both write for and act in? (Atlanta) (!Breaking Bad) (!Game of Thrones) (!Stranger Things)

In which community organization was Donald Glover actively involved during his college years? (Upright Citizens Brigade) (!Rotary Club) (!Red Cross) (!Amnesty International)

Which university did Donald Glover attend? (New York University) (!Harvard University) (!University of California, Los Angeles) (!Stanford University)

Quiz: Questions on the Lyrics

In "This Is America," what does Childish Gambino say he got? (A strap (AKA gun)) (!A car) (!A house) (!A new phone)

Which phrase is repeated throughout the song to signify entertainment and distraction? ("Watch me move") (!"Listen to this") (!"Feel the beat") (!"Catch the vibe")

What is the line following "This is America" in the chorus? ("Don't catch you slippin' now") (!"Where dreams come true") (!"Land of the free") (!"Home of the brave")

How does the song contrast serious themes with entertainment? (Through sudden shifts between cheerful music and dark lyrics) (!By having a humorous music video) (!By only focusing on serious issues) (!By avoiding any controversial topics)

Which of the following is a recurrent visual theme in the music video? (Guns being treated with care) (!Luxury cars) (!Skyscrapers) (!Beaches)


Create a memory game with matching pairs for this topic.

Donald Glover Childish Gambino
2018 Year of Release
Hiro Murai Music Video Director
Grammy Awards "This Is America" Wins
Gun Violence and Racism Main Themes

Open Tasks


  1. Analyze the Music Video: Watch the music video for "This Is America" and write a short paragraph about the symbolism you notice.
  2. Create a Playlist: Compile a playlist of songs that share themes with "This Is America".


  1. Write a Reflection: Reflect on how "This Is America" comments on current social issues. How does it relate to your own experiences or observations?
  2. Research Similar Artists: Research other artists who tackle social and political issues in their music and compare their approaches to Childish Gambino's.


  1. Create a Short Film: Make a short film or video that captures themes similar to those in "This Is America".
  2. Compose a Song: Write and perform a song that discusses a current social issue in your country.

Text bearbeiten Bild einfügen Video einbetten Interaktive Aufgaben erstellen

Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the Impact: How has "This Is America" influenced the discussion about race and gun violence in America?
  2. Compare and Contrast: Compare "This Is America" to another politically charged song. What similarities and differences do you find in their messages and presentation?
  3. Music and Society: Discuss how music can be a powerful tool for social commentary. Give examples besides "This Is America".
  4. Artistic Expression: Explore how artists like Childish Gambino use their platform to address societal issues. Is this effective?
  5. Cultural Reflection: How do songs like "This Is America" reflect the culture and issues of the time in which they were created?

OERs on the Topic


Share - Discuss - Rate


Text bearbeiten Bild einfügen Video einbetten Interaktive Aufgaben erstellen

Teilen Facebook Twitter Google Mail an MOOCit Missbrauch melden Zertifikat beantragen

(0 Stimmen)