Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover’s “This Is America” was the talk of the internet last week due to its polarizing video – and now the actual song has some hardware that solidifies its impact. Donald Glover just scored his first Billboard no. 1 hit with the trap-leaning examination of America’s gun violence in the context of Blackness.
His chart-topping is another impressive achievement in what has been a month for the ages for the multi-talented rapper, singer, actor, comedian and writer. The song was dropped on May 5, which coincided with his hosting and performing double-dip on Saturday Night Live.
Much of the hysteria surrounding “This Is America” has come from the song’s jarring video, which depicted a Black person being shot as well as a Black choir being shot down. The latter scene was an eerie harkening to 2015’s Charleston Church shooting in which Dylan Roof killed a hoard of churchgoers. Those scenes caused the video to be panned as shock value for some, though other supporters heralded Glover and video director Hiro Murai for their creative vision.
It looks like the people have collectively let their feelings be known on Glover’s musical prowess, vaulting the song to the top of the charts with 109 million streams. “This Is America” is likely one of the benefactors of Billboard incorporating Youtube streams into its chart calculation.