Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” Debuts At No. 1 On Billboard Hot 100

Elijah C. Watson Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When…
This Is Black America: Donald Glover's Wake-Up Call
Source: Screen Grab via YouTube
This Is Black America: Donald Glover's Wake-Up Call

Source: Screen Grab via YouTube

Donald Glover‘s Childish Gambino has earned its first chart-topping song thanks to the recently-released “This Is America.”

WATCH: Donald Glover Give A Very Donald Glover Response On What Inspired “This Is America”

The track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, according to Chart Data. The music video for “This Is America” has been viewed over 109 million times since its release on May 6, the same day Glover hosted and performed on Saturday Night Live.

Although Glover has been mum on explaining the controversial video, Ibra Ake, Glover’s creative director, recently spoke about it on WNYC’s “The Takeaway.”

In regards to the song, Ake revealed that the idea to include a handful of rappers on the track was inspired by the 1985 song “We Are The World,” which featured contributions from Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Lionel Richie, and other popular artists.

“The idea was just a ‘We Are The World’ song, I guess,” Ake said. “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.”

The creative director then turned his focus to the video, saying that the goal of it was to normalize blackness.

“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,” Ake said. “There’s all this math you’re constantly doing expressing yourself […] We’re trying to not have to explain ourselves to others and just exist, and not censor what our existence looks like as people.”

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