Childish Gambino's popular song This Is America faces plagiarism accusations; manager denies claims
Atlanta actor Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino's raw take on racism, gun violence and consumer society in his music video "This Is America" was appreciated and analysed by one and all, amassing over 300 million views since it came out last month. However, over the weekend, many have been questioning its originality.
A Twitter user, and later a Reddit user, remarked how Gambino's song sounded awfully similar to a song by Jase Harley called "American Pharaoh" from his 2016 album Free Pxrn: The Memoir of an American Heathen.
Jamie Foxx talking about This Is America and we found out Donald Glover stole the song today qjajaldmaksmaksm
— Ahmed/Toronto Akademiks/Every White Blogger (@big_business_) June 25, 2018
The similarities between the two tracks are not just restricted to the subject matter but also the instrumentation and vocal delivery.
Listen to this and tell me it doesn’t sound VERY SIMILAR to Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) - “This Is America” This song is called “American Pharaoh” by Jase Harley and it came out in 2016. pic.twitter.com/Mn2HM0vlPP — black boy bulletin. (@theblackboyblog) June 24, 2018
Gambino’s manager, Fam Udeorji, took to Twitter to deny the plagiarism claims. In a tweet, which has since been deleted, Udeorji said: "The Internet is a place of no consequences. I hate that Toronto Akademiks/every white blogger can say something gospel and y'all take it. This song is 3 yrs old, and we have the pro tool files to prove it."
Meanwhile, Harley took to Instagram to respond to the backlash and thanked fans for the support but advised them to not "let this controversy dilute the message me and Childish Gambino are trying to convey."
I feel extremely humbled to be recognized and labeled as one or the original inspirations for one of the most important pieces of music and visual art of our time. I appreciate all the love and support! But PLEASE DON’T let this controversy dilute the message me and @childishgambino are trying to convey. We are speaking about injustices we’ve encountered and he’s helped to provide a platform for all our voices to be heard. Let’s not discredit him for that! The focus should be on affecting change in our communities and building equality. This is bigger than me and him and bigger than music. Let’s not lose focus 🙏🏾 #noonewinswhenthefamilyfeuds #futurists
He also said that he had no interest in taking legal action against Gambino.
On Sunday night, BET Awards host Jamie Foxx brought Gambino on stage during the show. Foxx said that everyone begged him to write a joke about the single, but he said that song was not to be joked about, saying the song "stopped me in my tracks." He eventually got Gambino to come up on stage and sing a few lines with him.
Updated Date: Jun 26, 2018 16:58 PM