Hidden Meanings Behind Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' Video Explained

  • Published: 09 May 2018
  • Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' has become an overnight cultural phenomenon. The internet was quick to point out tons of hidden messages throughout the piece. Here's some you've might have missed.

    Read more analysis on 'This Is America': http://www.thisisinsider.com/this-is-america-music-video-meaning-references-childish-gambino-donald-glover-2018-5

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Comments • 28 140

  • moose
    moose  6 hours back

    Those aren’t American cars...

    • Oleo 2320
      Oleo 2320  9 hours back

      after he shoots the choir, I think those are British Red Coats that run through the scene

      • anyone's friend
        anyone's friend  15 hours back


        • That Creepy Family
          That Creepy Family  1 days back

          the truththat many find hard to believe is that you are most likely to be hurt by someone of your own community or ethnicity than by someone from another community or ethnicity, this goes for all ethnicities and communities, also if you arent of the demographic THEY (those in authority) see as worthy of THEIR compassion or as worthy of the lower sentencing then they will lock you up and throw away the key. We live in a nation where teens shot at muslims coming out of a mosque and even grazed one and ran another one over with their car and literally just got told not to do it again.....a country where a man persued a teen through a neighborhood that he actually lived in and agressively engaged the teen then shot said teen when he defended himself. that teen had no gun, and got off because his daddy is a judge! BTW the men that did 9/11 were in business suits not religious garb but the men and women in business garb are allowed to freely walk through scanners where as people in ANY religious garb that looks REMOTELY muslim are accosted, even if they dont set off the alarms or show anything at the xray points. There are groups from all ethnicities no matter their shade of skin treated like dogs. It ALL needs to stop.

          • ArrowOf Yahuah
            ArrowOf Yahuah  1 days back

            why did Childish Gambino have to go shirtless in this video while at the same time pooching his ass up as if he advertising it with a song called THIS IS AMERICA?

            • TheCanadianPeep YT
              TheCanadianPeep YT  1 days back

              I’ve given this man TONS of views just trying to find other hidden messages

              • Cheri Silverfox
                Cheri Silverfox  2 days back

                Something that everyone missed is that he is surrounded by school aged kids who are being raised to think this is the norm. I hope his video inspires more than thought and sparks change.

                • joseph davis
                  joseph davis  2 days back

                  With less lyrics this song has more meanings than Eminems "rap god".

                  • BTS IS LIFE Y'ALL i feel like a proud mom of them

                    I legit never even seen the ruckus in the backroumd bc it was so blurry so i never payed attention to it..

                    • Lance Hogarth
                      Lance Hogarth  2 days back

                      YES CLEARLY HE'S DANCING TO SURVIVE, retards. i'm done with social media and all its sensationalization.

                      • ThatOneGuy
                        ThatOneGuy  2 days back

                        You guys have way too much time on your hands.

                        • Josefina Fernandez Vega

                          The horseman from the apocalypse scared the shit outta me😅

                          • Anonymous Sender
                            Anonymous Sender  3 days back

                            I think the drugs you smoke makes you read too much into this. It's a good tune, that's it. With a rad video. That would be cooler if there was more dancing. That's it.

                            • Polyxeny Katsari
                              Polyxeny Katsari  3 days back

                              What about when he runs in the end, white people chase after him? I believe its self explanatory

                              • Fennec The Fox
                                Fennec The Fox  4 days back

                                You missed the British soldiers like the one behind him at 3:21

                                • Bradley Frank
                                  Bradley Frank  4 days back

                                  Opens up the video with "this black man looks like this other black man...but it's not him." Wow. Opens up with a stereotype in and of itself. Way to go.

                                  • Emerald Hero
                                    Emerald Hero  4 days back

                                    Everyone be talking about “gun violence” but everyone forgets about climate change and how energy is running out due to using the earth’s resources as power instead of things like solar panels.

                                    • Holly Rau
                                      Holly Rau  5 days back


                                      • Justin Harrod
                                        Justin Harrod  6 days back

                                        Too bad the song was trash and nobody cares.

                                        • kickback lsrp
                                          kickback lsrp  6 days back

                                          Everyone: "This is America has a million hidden messages!"
                                          Gambino: "I just thought the beat went hard..."

                                          • gabby eaterway
                                            gabby eaterway  6 days back

                                            but what is this beautiful girl her @ thooo..?

                                            • Xx wolfy xX
                                              Xx wolfy xX  6 days back

                                              I think celly means the first one bc if you keep watching it looks like there moving the phones as if there filming

                                              • Corazon Feliz
                                                Corazon Feliz  6 days back

                                                I thought “its a celly. That’s a tool” was when police mistake a phone for a gun

                                                • shane lauer
                                                  shane lauer  6 days back

                                                  Hidden message from video. Fuc every white human! “Blacks can’t be racist”

                                                  • Chicagocubbiegirl
                                                    Chicagocubbiegirl  6 days back

                                                    When Jussie Smollet sae this video, he knew he had to up his game.

                                                    • Nemo Emo
                                                      Nemo Emo  6 days back

                                                      U ppl are waking up and can find out many bad things going on with ur not so humanitarian laws and GOVERNMENT in USA !!!! Ok ....but they have u all!!!! U just learn and forget again and again in close circle!!!! But what will ever happen?????? ((( NOTHING ))).

                                                      • Discomfort
                                                        Discomfort  7 days back

                                                        *P A N T S*

                                                        • Glynesia Spurlock
                                                          Glynesia Spurlock  7 days back

                                                          This video so good, it make you have so many more questions??

                                                          • Wilson Wieggel
                                                            Wilson Wieggel  7 days back

                                                            You are suck

                                                            • Kota Dagnino
                                                              Kota Dagnino  1 weeks back

                                                              Gambino: wait what? I just put some random words together... you actually think this song has a simbolism? lol

                                                              jk XD

                                                              • James Reddington
                                                                James Reddington  1 weeks back

                                                                There’s more black on black violence then even cops on blacks, so stfu and if you don’t like it then move to a different country

                                                                • mrpapparappa
                                                                  mrpapparappa  1 weeks back

                                                                  Jus subbed, y'all... God Bless you and yours for what y'all do!

                                                                  • Amir Whiite
                                                                    Amir Whiite  1 weeks back

                                                                    At 3:53 it’s both, not one or the other, that’s very common in the african american community.

                                                                    • Bad Content Inc
                                                                      Bad Content Inc  1 weeks back

                                                                      I think the red cloth is more used as Hiding the murder weapon instead of priorities over guns

                                                                      • Women Make Glasgow
                                                                        Women Make Glasgow  1 weeks back

                                                                        Knew straight away that they were doing Township dancing, but with the school uniforms I thought he was giving a nod to the Soweto Uprising where the children stopped oppression in their tracks by refusing to be taught in the foreign language (South African Dutch, known as Afrikaans).

                                                                        • Alexiz Red
                                                                          Alexiz Red  1 weeks back

                                                                          At the part when he is dancing on a red car it shows the man that got shot in the beginning and he is playing with his guitar and one of the girls from the church choir sitting on one of the cars and she is singing I also noticed at the end of the music video that the police/ the people that were chasing him were catching up to him really fast

                                                                          • Sami Hughes
                                                                            Sami Hughes  1 weeks back

                                                                            I don't understand why people think white people are privileged? I'm white and I'm far from privileged... In fact, every day life is a total struggle and then some to the point I feel mentally, emotionally and physically drained. I feel like at this point some of my bestfriends (who are Australian Indigenous people. Yes I'm Australian), I'm not allowed to hang out with or see them for who they are rather then the colour of their skin. I'm so tired of this walking on egg shell feeling. I thought as a global society, we'd moved forward finally from the oppression of the rich and famous. But I'm starting to question if people are really okay with allowing the rich to divide us when we're all struggling to live. Really tired of this feeling of being in a make shift gladiator Colosseum fight. I'm a little scared for the future of humanity seems to be fine with being lead around on leashes (doesn't matter what colour your skin is at this point for white people are just as trapped)... Is anyone else ever exhausted with not being able to have a drink with someone or a conversation with someone without the bubble wrap first? Are we really content in fighting each other when we are in the same boat? The next century will be a very odd time to exist.

                                                                            At this point I'm glad the good Lord will be calling me home sooner rather then later, I dont think I want to be alive for the next 50 years to watch what will become of democracy (true democracy, and not this current democracy that seems to pick and choose who can and cannot be include in democracy) . It's exhausting watching the world tear each other apart when we walk in the same shoes.

                                                                            • Macy Coggins
                                                                              Macy Coggins  1 weeks back

                                                                              As an ignorant white person, watching videos that break down the meaning of this song and video, it’s eye opening. I was aware that this racism and oppression happened in the past as well as currently but I was unaware of how related that they were. I wish the world was different, but I especially wish that America was safer for people of color.

                                                                              • Sam Balch
                                                                                Sam Balch  1 weeks back

                                                                                The first time we see Gambino is when the camera moves to reveal him behind some white poles

                                                                                • Kyle Zero Hardesty
                                                                                  Kyle Zero Hardesty  1 weeks back

                                                                                  I think you are digging way to deep into this song and video. It's a great song & it's vid is very entertaining. This is America, everything in the video is a portrayal of what's real, no hidden meanings.

                                                                                  • Joey crout
                                                                                    Joey crout  1 weeks back

                                                                                    "celly" isn't ever used as a term for cell block. "Celly" is used as short hand for cell mate".

                                                                                    • James Hanley
                                                                                      James Hanley  1 weeks back

                                                                                      I see black on black crime, he’s running because he probably committed another crime like y’all do

                                                                                      • Jeffrey Graves
                                                                                        Jeffrey Graves  1 weeks back

                                                                                        What about the unarmed Blacks brawling at Disney Land in California how do you justify that not being violent!

                                                                                        • Nathan T.
                                                                                          Nathan T.  1 weeks back


                                                                                          • Linda Pankow
                                                                                            Linda Pankow  1 weeks back

                                                                                            Did you know that the 10 people that look like priests they represent everyone on the Earth and the giant gun represents the vaccine and the little gun represents the police and the guy that had the baby going to say in the first part of the episode or video Whatever It Is in the song He represents the people that have guns they're trying to protect themselves and the people that have legal rights to hunt

                                                                                            • cali_kid29
                                                                                              cali_kid29  1 weeks back

                                                                                              I think people are looking into it a little to much... it’s a rap song made by a complete jokester 🤣

                                                                                              • Kaleah Collins
                                                                                                Kaleah Collins  1 weeks back

                                                                                                The dance he does before he shoots the man is kind of reminiscent of Africa in his own right the expressions of the body do not be fooled my dear in Africa before the white man can black people wore lots of jewelry this has been noted and the encyclopedia africanas do your research but I do agree that there's a double entendre with the chains it's connecting us to our ancestry as well yet the bondage we endured because of this love of the flossing couldn't War Union pants suit because both sides actually used us and didn't give a fuk about us but anywho as well as the man in the guitar it seems as if he just walked out of nowhere and picked it up right and able to play somewhat a mix of classical guitar with African rhythm out of nowhere ( to be assumed he had no training) this is the story of our people how they thought us incapable of composing music to their level because of our ape like brains according to Thomas Jefferson but on the contrary Many slaves and their descendants was able to just play by ear with no schooling that started in Africa with just acapella singing and making up songs which They carried in the fields of the plantations We Are The Originators of all music where are The Originators of all genres of American music rock and roll rhythm and blues Bluegrass Country Jazz Bebop doo-wop house freestyle last but not least HIP HOP WE ARE THE TASTE MAKERS WE ARE THE DREAMERS OF DREAMS WE ARE THE WEAVERS OF DESTINY WIZARDS OF WONDROUS WORKS AND WISDOM WE ARE THE PPL OF THE SON

                                                                                                • Sara Ahmed
                                                                                                  Sara Ahmed  1 weeks back

                                                                                                  When he says “police be tripping on” he may mean that black people can get pulled over by the police for no reason. Also when he says “yeah imma get the bag” he may be trying to say that one black people stereotype is that black people steal money.