Shortly after he took the stage to host and perform on Saturday Night Live, Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, released a (literally) breathtaking visual for his new track, “This Is America.”
In the four-minute clip, Gambino goes from dance meditations to murder in the blink an eye — and that's the point. What starts with the actor/musician grooving along to the beat an acoustic guitar player sitting nearby turns into an instantly murderous moment, as Gambino picks up a gun and shoots the man, now hooded, in the back a head 53 seconds into the video.
The first words out his mouth? “This is America. Don't catch you slippin' up.”
From there, Gambino's joined by dancing school kids and a gospel choir, who sing until Gambino mows them down with what appears to be a semi-automatic rifle. The refrain continues, as cop cars enter the frame and chaos unfolds around him and the dancers: “This is America / Don't catch you slippin' up / Look how I'm livin' now / Police be trippin' now / Yeah, this is America / Guns in my area (word, my area) / I got the strap / I gotta carry 'em.”
Gambino will hit the road with Rae Sremmurd and Vince Staples this fall, with the tour kicking f in Atlanta on Sept. 6. Watch “This Is America” below.