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Donald Glover Originally Wanted to Troll Drake With “This Is America”
In his GQ profile, Donald Glover says "This is America" started as a Drake diss.
Donald Glover’s 2018 Grammy-winning song “This Is America” was originally made because of Drake. The provocative record, which went on to win Record of the Year and Song of the Year, at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, was discussed by the Swarm co-creator in a recent GQ video that covers his most iconic characters. On Tuesday (April 4), the publication released a profile about Glover aka Childish Gambino, where he tackled mentoring Malia Obama, being a ‘diversity hire’ on 30 Rock and the possibility of doing another stand-up special.
“I had the idea three years before. I told [director] Hiro [Murai] the idea, and he’s like, ‘I really want to do that.’… The idea for the song started as a joke,” Glover recounted in a video that accompanied his GQ profile.
He continued, “To be completely honest, ‘This is America’ — that was all we had was that line. It started as a Drake diss, to be honest, as like a funny way of doing it. But then I was like, this s–t sounds kind of hard though. So I was like, let me play with it.”
Glover’s idea to troll Drake would begin at a Sydney, Australia show in 2014, when the Stone Mountain native called out Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and ScHoolboy Q as being his hip-hop rivals. The 39-year-old would go on to clarify his stance during an interview with The Breakfast Club that same year.
“Every rapper should feel that way,” Glover said. “I said those rappers in particular ’cause I feel like they’re the best. I feel like they’re the best. Kendrick, Drake, ScHooboy, I listen to them all the time […] Kendrick is fine with it. Drake is probably not taking it great.”
“This Is America” had another win nearly five years after its release. Last week, a New York federal court dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit, where rapper Kidd West claimed that the song infringed on his 2016 track “Made In America.”