Did Childish Gambino plagiarize elements of ‘This is America’?
Childish Gambino’s politically charged mega hit, This Is America, may have debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and been praised for sparking heated discussions about race and pop culture – but was it original?
This week, the track that accompanied the viral video has come under scrutiny due to allegations of plagiarism.
Donald Glover may be Black Hollywood’s golden boy at the moment but the integrity of his rap alter ego has been called into question by fans who noticed similarities between This Is America and a song by lesser-known rapper Jase Harley.
Some have noted that there are clear elements from American Pharaoh, which was released on Harley’s 2016 album Free Pxrn: The Memoir of an American Heathen that are almost impossible to deny.
This Is America, which came out two years later amassed almost 300 million YouTube views, and isn’t just about same subject matter it also has that same instrumental and vocal inflection that is now instantly associated with Childish Gambino.
“So Childish Gambino straight-up stole “This is America” from an obscure rappers’s song released in 2016 without even crediting or contacting them.” wrote one person. “This is such a disgustingly blatant ripoff and it sucks that Donald Glover is getting away with it.”
The successful actor-rapper has also received backlash for allegedly borrowing from a “starving artist” without giving him compensation.
Although Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover has yet to address these claims, Jase Harley has spoken up and admitted he noticed the similarities the moment he heard This Is America and simply wishes he could have received some sort of credit.
“Yeaaa lol it’s cool tho.. glad they liked my song. It’s all love,” he told fans in a series of Instagram comments as the controversy boiled over on social media. “A shout out would be cool. All good tho… he’s a great artist, dope I could’ve had some influence on the record.”
Check out the two songs below and let us know what you think.
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