100 Greatest Songs of the Decade #49 Childish Gambino – This is America

Released : 2018

Donald Glover’s metaphor-drenched film for This is America proved that as a visual medium, the pop video is far from over in terms of stretching the boundaries of what is acceptable in modern social discourse. These are desperate times for the country of it’s title – and the world – but for all it’s overt messaging, the dozens of silent allegories meant that it bore repeat viewings.

Ever since the promotional flick took hold in the early eighties there’s been a tendency for visual trickery to overshadow the music, but Glover uses the jittery, staccato beats and gospel harmonies to stark contrast, the song as much a chimera as the images that went with it. In terms of social commentary, there have been few better speeches from the front lines – or pulpit – since The Message.

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