At this point, you’ve most likely observed Childish Gambino’s video “This Is America”. The music video has gotten A LOT of response. It’s packed with undertones and nuance and has been hailed as a masterpiece.
But the video also has a little South African flavour. As many have noted, the video starts over “South African style” melodies.
“The South African melodies suddenly give way to this really dark Southern American trap music,” NPR Music hip-hop journalist Rodney Carmichael wrote. “The rest of the video is this barrage of symbolism and chaos.”
But that’s not the only reference to Mzansi. Gambino does the “Gwara Gwara” at one part of his video.
The viral craze of Gwara Gwara was, reportedly started by DJ Bongz.
Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino not the first international superstar to pay homage to the South African style of dance, though. Rihanna caused a stir when she did the same at the Grammy Awards.
“I created the dance from scratch and it feels so special to have it shown on an international stage like the Grammys. It shows that Africa can make a big impact on international dance,” DJ Bonz told the Sunday Times after Rihanna’s effort.
There is a lot more hidden meaning in the video, though, and this video by thisisinsider.com points out all of the little bits you might have missed.
— INSIDER (@thisisinsider) May 10, 2018
The video has been a massive hit. The Washington Post noted
He packs every frame with visual references to racism and related violence in the United States, from Glover mimicking minstrel characters to cellphones recording it all.
Glover is kind of a big deal right now. His FX show, Atlanta, which he writes and stars in – and where he is an executive producer – has earned Golden Globe awards. He won his first Grammy Award earlier this year for his 2016 song “Redbone.”
If, for some reason, you haven’t seen the full “This is America” video, you can check it out below.