Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” Was Inspired by “We Are the World”
Childish Gambino's "This Is America" has taken the music world by storm since he debuted the track during his appearance on Saturday Night Live (May 5). Glover's creative director, Ibra Ake, revealed in a recent interview with WNYC on Thurs., May 8, that the socially conscious track was partly inspired by the 1985 hit "We Are the World."
"The idea was just a 'We Are The World' song, I guess," the "This Is America" co-producer explained. "You know, there's a bunch of rappers featured, but he just kind of wanted to make a 'We Are The World' song with rappers. And really not them rapping, just their ad-libs. Just kind of reducing the features to jazz."
Gambino's "This Is America" enlisted ad-lib cameos from numerous burgeoning stars such as Young Thug, 21 Savage, Quavo, BlocBoy JB and Slim Jxmmi. Parallels align with the charitable "We Are The World" which saw contributions from over 35 artists including Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, and Stevie Wonder.
Ake later admitted to WNYC that Donald kept the track in the stash for a while. "I feel like this is actually one of the older songs. He kind of just has things in his head and when it's album time, it's kind of like, 'Okay, finish baking the cake you started,'" he said. "So we've kind of heard this for a while."
Ibra went on to say the overall goal of the tune was to "normalize blackness" in America. "Our goal is to normalize blackness," he quips. "I feel like we don’t really think of it in that editorial way. It’s like, this is how we would like to dance, but we have to be aware of the danger and the politics of how we’re perceived and the implications of the history of how we were treated."
TMZ actually caught up with Glover outside a West Hollywood nightclub Wednesday night (May 9) to get his interpretation of the "This Is America" visual. "That's not for me to say," he quickly said with a smile.
With "This Is America" released as a single, the stage has been set for Childish to unleash his final album under the famed alter-ego by year's end. Young Thug also confirmed an appearance on the forthcoming highly anticipated project.
Check out the short interaction between Gambino and TMZ below.
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