“This Is America”: 21 Hidden Meanings You May Have Missed in Childish Gambino’s Explosive New Music Video


Donald Glover is having an outstanding year. Atlanta is one of the best reviewed shows on television, and he’s already making us swoon as the young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story. And during his one-two punch as host AND musical guest on Saturday Night Live, he quietly released a jaw-dropping music video for his first single since 2016, “This Is America.”

With 30 million views and counting, it seems like everybody is watching—and talking about—

Childish Gambino. But what does it all mean? We’re breaking down all the secrets, symbolism, and references woven through the music video.

Ready? Let’s go.

21. Wait, Didn’t He Retire?

This Is America


Glover announced that he would be retiring his alter ego and deleted his all his Instagram posts except for the one announcing his single.

Despite winning a Grammy last year for his third album as Childish Gambino, Glover said, “I like endings. I think they’re important to progress.” Before he hangs up the moniker for good, he’ll be going on a multi-city tour.

20. Follow the Clues on Twitter

This Is America


We knew something was coming, but we had no idea it would be this. At the end of March, rapper Young Thug posted a photo of himself with Glover on Instagram with the cryptic caption “Watch this…”

After the single dropped, singer SZA—who makes a brief cameo—posted a still of herself from the video with the caption “Liberty,” suggesting that there may be another collaboration to look forward to.