Two months after its debut, Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” remains a hot topic of discussion. At last night’s BET Awards, host Jamie Foxx invited Childish a.k.a Donald Glover up on stage, describing the Atlanta creator as a “singer, songwriter, philanthropist, movie star, overall badass. … A true artist.”
But it wasn’t all good vibes, as claims of plagiarism began to make their way into the original Twitter post with the video. The speculation, Pitchfork and XXL Mag report, began in a thread on Reddit’s hiphopheads forum, which found lyrical and musical similarities between “This Is America” and Jase Harley’s “American Pharoah.” The latter was released in 2016 as part of the New Jersey rapper’s debut album, Free Pxrn: The Memoir Of An American Heathen. You can listen to both songs below, if you’d like to make your own comparisons.
Neither Glover nor his alter ego have responded, but Gambino’s manager, Fam Udeorji, refuted the claims in a since-deleted tweet. Here’s a screenshot of the tweet, posted June 25.
Pitchfork reached out to Gambino’s rep for comment, but hadn’t heard back at the time of publication.