It’s an unfortunately uncommon phenomena in music: music videos that don’t make people think much past the original content of the song. Music videos are meant to excite and trigger further intense emotions that the track alone couldn’t encompass. Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America” embodied everything a great music video should; a command of attention, and the lasting impact it has on the viewer to consider the world in a different, heightened way.
The main takeaway is how unnecessarily difficult it is to be an African American living in America, to which nobody can relate to unless they’re a part of that race. The song and video tackles the issues of police brutality, gun rights, and just overall prejudice. The video itself was very well done, referencing some historical cases and aiming to distract the viewer from what is “really happening” in the video, as an aside to how the African American community is often ignored or painted in a negative light. In the end, you’re left feeling ashamed that America is creating this reality for people, and wondering how we can get past it together.
This protest and call to action depicted in “This is America” shows where we should be headed in music, with artists like Childish Gambino making sure their well-heard voices can be an advocate for the neediest of society.