Jack-of-all-entertainment trades Childish Gambino (or Donald Glover, as his silver and small screen fans recognize him as) made one of hip-hop’s most epic statements of 2018 with his brilliantly concept-dimensional record and video for “This Is America” in May.
The track is a pastiche of Black America as Childish meshes contrasting, sharply shifted sounds, images, instrumentation, moods, and lyricism in the song’s auditory DNA. According to some internet investigators, it’s also a Xerox copy of a lesser-known SoundCloud track by rapper Jase Harley named “American Pharaoh.” Upon first listen, there are some undeniable similarities between both songs such as the flow structure, vocal composition, choir-driven background, and even subject matter.
But while some are calling foul play on Childish’s behalf for accusations of thievery, others are defending the California-bred wunderkind for mere inspiration from the “American Pharoah” track. Not to mention, his manager also shot down the rumors and claims to have three-year-old proof that would safeguard Childish against the stolen property accusations. Aside from the "Redbone" artist's thoughts, there's no stance more interesting than that of Harley himself, who has also addressed the speculation.
Hit play on “This Is America” and “American Pharaoh” below, then see what Harley and the rest of the internet has to say about it below.
(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)