In a world of whack political affiliations, where only two days ago Trump thanked Ye for doubling his numbers among African American voters at a meeting for the National Rifle Association, a figure was desperately needed to cut through the noise.
Before appearing as host and performer on Saturday Night Live yesterday, Donald Glover dropped This Is America, a track presenting a disturbing satire on the contemporary African American experience – one showing the fracture between how one’s culture is perceived via the lens and the real, lived experience.
Glover incorporates various dance styles as the choir sings – We just wanna party / Party just for you / We just want the money / Money just for you – and violence unfolds in the background. Glover sings with a smile, I’m on Gucci / I’m so pretty, parodying the extreme, dangerous, and superficial hangups of Americans while the country turns up the chaos. Earlier in the clip, Glover also cuts into the male bravado surrounding the gun debate – Yeah this is America / guns in my area / I got the strap / I gotta carry ’em / Yeah, yeah I’ma go into this / Yeah, yeah this is guerilla [war].
Glover has again linked up with long-time collaborator Hiro Murai (director of Atlanta) to present this vision of America, and in the clips final minutes, we see the disintegration of all ambiguity, visually, and lyrically, with Glover running terrified through the city’s bowels – You just a black man in this world / You just a barcode.
Yes, this really is America, and it’s going to take a hell of a lot to save it.
Watch Stormy Daniels call for Donald Trump’s resignation on the Glover-hosted Saturday Night Live.
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