Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, recently revealed in a GQ cover story interview that his hit song “This Is America” was originally conceived as a joke Drake diss track. Glover shared that the idea for the song came to him three years prior to its release and initially started as a funny way to diss Drake. However, as he continued to work on the track, he realized the potential it had as a serious social commentary on police brutality and racism in America. The song eventually won Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2019 Grammy Awards.
In the interview, Glover also discussed how he and the song’s director, Hiro Murai, studied Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video to create a moment that would resonate with audiences. He also spoke about how Black Lives Matter protests inspired him to create a “We Are The World”-style song for trap music.
Aside from his music career, Glover has made a name for himself in Hollywood with roles in movies like Solo and shows like Atlanta and Community. He discussed his passion for filmmaking and how he mentored former first daughter Malia Obama on her first short film.
The GQ interview also touched on Glover’s decision not to pursue a career in comedy with Saturday Night Live, and instead focus on his music and acting careers. Glover explained that he felt he dodged a bullet by not joining the SNL cast, stating that if he had, his career might not have taken off in the way it did.
Despite the initial idea behind “This Is America” as a joke diss track, the song’s success and impact cannot be ignored. It’s a reminder of the power that music can have in addressing important social issues and sparking necessary conversations.