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[Childish Gambino] This is America

bv728

Was he a violent man?
Validated User
There's a LOT.

The deliberate Uncle Ruckus face at the beginning. Death on a Pale Horse in the background, with the Cops coming after. That traditional 'whites of eyes and teeth black menace' image melting to a scared, fleeing man. The kids - clean cut, relaxed hair, private school uniforms, doing the dances until he does a gun pose, then fleeing despite the fact that he's still unarmed. The reverence given to the weapons - they're collected in red cloth and carried away by altar boys, while the bodies are just left. The man jumping from the rafters. The masked, anonymous kids recording. The constant refrain of 'Black man getchyo money'. The guitarist at the beginning looking an awful lot like Travon Martin's dad. The middle singer in the choir looks an awful lot like Jordan Peele. That very deliberate drop from the folk straight into a dark trap beat. There's a lot of layers.
 

Quantum Bob

Fear and Loathing
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm neither American nor am I into Rap music, but even I sometimes recognize genius when I see it.

This is it.

The criticism in the song and the pictures is savage.
 
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Coyote's Own

Former ACME QA Tester.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Some interpratations:
[video=youtube;qfqVkEYQ1Ls]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfqVkEYQ1Ls[/video]
[video=youtube;ESKmRiLjNpg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESKmRiLjNpg[/video]
 

Arethusa

Sophipygian
RPGnet Member
Validated User
All those cars with their emergency blinkers going.

I don’t know what the chickens mean.
 

Dweller in Darkness

Excelsior
Validated User
All those cars with their emergency blinkers going.
And they're the fairly crummy late-model sedans that most people drive, not the kind of vehicles you see in a lot of videos.
I don’t know what the chickens mean.
A few possible things: it might be a reference to the importance of chicken to the African-American experience in the South. They're also chaotic beasts and just add to the confusion. I only catch them in glimpses, but having had friends who lived rural in Africa, it might be a reference to how the African-American experience isn't that much of a departure from the native African.
 

Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
As an ignorant foreigner, I love reading the reactions and analysis to it. It might be the sort of art that has to be acknowledged for its success in cutting through.

I also can't help but feel it'll be (ironically?) licensed for a Grand Theft Auto VI trailer :)
 

Kurt McMahon

Academic Ninja
RPGnet Member
Validated User
It is an amazing piece of art.

By the way, if you liked this video and you’re not watching Atlanta... you should definitely check out Atlanta.
 

SrGrvsaLot

Digital Scribe
Validated User
It may be a superficial reaction, but Donald Glover is an electric performer. Lyrics notwithstanding, it was like a silent movie with an astonishing range and nuance. He's pretty much the only reason I'm going to see the Han Solo movie.
 

Arethusa

Sophipygian
RPGnet Member
Validated User
It may be a superficial reaction, but Donald Glover is an electric performer. Lyrics notwithstanding, it was like a silent movie with an astonishing range and nuance. He's pretty much the only reason I'm going to see the Han Solo movie.
I think that’s why watching it with the sound off had almost as much impact. It’s an extraordinary piece of cinematic art.
 
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