Childish Gambino’s Song Take On Controversial Symbolism,- Childish Gambino’s “This is America” is laden with metaphors about race and gun violence in America. Guthrie Ramsey, a professor of music history at the University of Pennsylvania, breaks it down ‘the first gunshot’. Ramsay says the time that this happens during the song’s move from choral tones to a trap sound allows Gambino to straddle contradictions and allows the viewer to identify with his humanness.


“You have him almost unadorned, as if he were totally without all the accoutrements of stardom”. Gambino dancing with schoolchildren amid violence. The dancers could be there to distract viewers in the same way black art is used to distract people from real problems plaguing America.

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The gunned down choir. The massacre and its quickness recall the 2015 Charleston shooting in which white supremacist Dylann Roof nine black people in a church basement. Then Gambino running away in the closing moments. His sprint goes back to a tradition of black Americans having to run to save their lives, according to Ramsey who says one song dating back to slavery in the 19th century was called “Run N- Run.”