Childish Gambino has been called many things — such as Donald Glover, his real name — but now, the Grammy-winning rapper/singer is being called one thing that isn’t likely to improve his mood after his history-making win. TMZ reports that Jase Harley, the rapper whose “American Pharaoh” has been called an “inspiration” for Gambino’s hit “This Is America,” called out the Grammy winner, calling him a “house slave” for not better utilizing his platform to speak on the issues raised by the viral “This Is America” video.
TMZ’s cameras caught up with Harley to ask him about the historic win because a few weeks after the massive success of “This Is America,” his song “American Pharaoh” was raised as a possible inspiration to it — or even an outright, uncredited sample. While Glover and his co-producers shrugged off any implications that they’d stolen the concept of “Pharaoh” to create “This Is America,” Harley himself merely acknowledged a possible role as an “inspiration.” However, in this interview, he’s far less chill, taking Gambino to task for not speaking at the Grammys (or even showing up), calling his actions “a loss for the culture.”
Harley argues that the Academy should not have acknowledged a song that “wasn’t original,” using the analogy of the “house slave heard the chants from the field… Instead of trying to liberate the folks in the field, he got a bigger room in the house.” While he’s certainly entitled to that interpretation, it’s not likely to endear him to the award winner, who still has yet to make a public statement about his wins. “This Is America” won for both Record and Song Of The Year, a first for a rap song in both categories.