Hidden Meanings Behind Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' Video Explained

  • Published on May 9, 2018
  • Childish Gambino's 'This Is America' has become an overnight cultural phenomenon. The internet was quick to point out tons of hidden messages throughout the piece. Here's some you've might have missed.
    Read more analysis on 'This Is America': www.thisisinsider.com/this-is-america-music-video-meaning-references-childish-gambino-donald-glover-2018-5
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Comments • 27 284

  • Chesney Brown
    Chesney Brown Hour ago +1

    Along with "guns in my area" meaning the amendment "the right to bear arms"

  • Anon Ymous
    Anon Ymous 3 hours ago

    Gambino is a race baiter.
    You know how black children are disadvantaged in America?
    The 79% of them born to single black mothers. Take responsibility for your actions.
    p.s. Blacks are destroying South Africa.

  • Matthew Bittenbender
    Matthew Bittenbender 10 hours ago

    It seems strange that “a moment of silence” is marked with a hit off of a joint. Wouldn’t getting high make this moment less reverent? What is he saying by conflating those messages?

  • Manly O'ger
    Manly O'ger 13 hours ago

    This is some bullshit. Clicked off after the celly part.

  • Nayeli Galvan Melgoza25

    In the bible there is four horses the pale one is a sign the worlds going to end

  • Nayeli Galvan Melgoza25

    Yea you missed that when it is silent and in the being we're the 17 second you hear people screaming and then 17 seconds of silence

  • Kat Swanson
    Kat Swanson 19 hours ago

    he really put thought into this video and how America is falling apart by the second

  • tetrahedron mind over matter

    Everyone eats not just the few 666 burn all down if you want to be free

  • tetrahedron mind over matter

    Money a lie

  • tetrahedron mind over matter

    You enslave yourselves to know the truth you need to be the truth

  • N. H. M. D.
    N. H. M. D. 23 hours ago

    2:18 The Gwara Gwara looks like that one dance in the chorus of Idol. Any army's agree??

  • Abyss Games
    Abyss Games Day ago

    this is true, or he's high on every drug

  • Michael Scott
    Michael Scott Day ago

    IDK maybe I'm reading more into it, but the dancers who join him all look like school kids in uniform, but every time they come into the scene they quickly move out of focus or are panned away from so we don't pay much attention to them (education).

  • Chris Bezerianos

    This is not only America but the whole world is like he'll,though America's the worst,just face it I'm not lying. And I said THE WHOLE WORLD IS LIKE THAT!

  • Tuna Kutsi Güler

    Its a overnight meme phemonenon

  • Savannah Gregory
    Savannah Gregory Day ago +1

    This is deep

  • Glossyomg45
    Glossyomg45 Day ago

    The Jim crow picture looks straight out of a nightmare 1:53

  • DeAndre Lewis
    DeAndre Lewis Day ago

    You guys watch people too much jesus

  • MikeMatt Akins
    MikeMatt Akins Day ago

    Pretty good song

  • Isaac Hoque
    Isaac Hoque 2 days ago +1

    Do twenty øne piløts

  • Wendi Tosta
    Wendi Tosta 2 days ago

    One of the hidden messages that you missed is the fact that black on black crime is no where in the video. The other hidden message you missed is the fact that the KKK were orchestrated by the Democrats... You also missed the hidden message about the Civil War and what actually took place and who wanted to keep slavery intact. You also missed the hidden message at the fact that Childish Glover only portrayed the bullshit lies spread in the black community, I'm thankful for men and women like Candace Owens, Pastor Darrell Scott, Kanye West, Sherriff Clark, Herman Cain, Harris Faulkner and sooo many other amazing black conservatives who are destroying the centuries old black agenda.
    This IS America... and in America, you get what you give. It's an embarrassment that he used "Gambino" in his stupid nick name, Don Carlo would condemn that indefinitely. This message is a lie... Theres NOTHING anyone can say to change that fact.. So go ahead and comment your shitty bullshit repetitive rhetoric to me. You're STILL going to be so full shit just like moron Glover in AMERICA'S eyes..... 😂🤣😂🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  • Chinegirl Gbelee
    Chinegirl Gbelee 2 days ago

    Hi people scrolling down the comments

  • Cringley 1
    Cringley 1 2 days ago

    *it's Nerf or nothing*

  • Daniel Olivier
    Daniel Olivier 2 days ago +3

    Am from West Africa

  • Pastel Trash
    Pastel Trash 2 days ago

    America explained

  • jane harrap
    jane harrap 3 days ago

    Such a great run down even though I got it through dance. Dance is a very powerful tool. At the right time place an era we shouldn't have to explain ourselves! just breath and believe

  • ShyvulnerableTeddy
    ShyvulnerableTeddy 3 days ago

    People of colour complain that wear are racist for not involving black people into movies and music videos but when they create music videos with no view of white people at all it not seen as racist. We have to involve black people but black people don't need to involve white people. They are using the slavery of ancestors, not them as an escape goat for everything to be honest they need to find a new reason becaise it's getting old and people are gonna start ignoring their perfetic please. That is why the wolf ate the boy because he kept using the wolf as a tool to scare people. Don't come crying when people have enough of this and don't help any more. And I'm not saying all racism agiast back people is right I'm just saying some people lie and try get people to feel sorry for them. Stop using you ancestors pain and suffering and your skin colour a reason for you perfetic escuses. As you've seen nazis used the Jews as an escape goat see where that got them. Learn from the past not make it rise again.

  • Qazu G
    Qazu G 3 days ago +1

    2:35 Orange Justice?

  • Beepo McCarter
    Beepo McCarter 3 days ago

    This is one of the most brilliant and poignant videos ever made. Donald Glover's attire, his movements, even his facial expressions are all a representation of the Jim Crow, Blackface era, leading into and touching on the history. Along with progression into the future as to how we see ourselves as a society and how the black community sees and represents themselves. This is a brilliant, I cannot emphasize how brilliant, of a music video that has ever been made. It can be broken down repeatedly there are so many things that he put in this video that are so important, to the history of the black community and to the history of America.

  • Tristan Willstout
    Tristan Willstout 3 days ago

    that black screen over the first gunshot made it so much better lol

  • Alice Jitter-Feet
    Alice Jitter-Feet 3 days ago

    The school kids reminds me of African school kids who played a big part in fighting and dying to end aparthied

  • P ES
    P ES 3 days ago +2

    Talk about form over substance, and searching for depth where there is none.

  • Ronnie Gonzalez
    Ronnie Gonzalez 3 days ago

    Lets not forget about black on black crime.

  • A g
    A g 3 days ago

    All the cars in the end of the scene are cars cops usually profile and pull over

  • Bad boy
    Bad boy 4 days ago

    It has tooo much logic to understand

  • Krystal Hittle
    Krystal Hittle 4 days ago

    Did y’all see the chickens in the background in one of the scenes... at 2:17 they were pointing out the dance called the Gwara Gwara and behind Gambino and the people Is a white chicken and a yellow chicken

  • John Suggs
    John Suggs 4 days ago

    I have to disagree with you. As a black man who grow up in a poor community, this looks like our community. Money and power is really what matters. The black community is its biggest enemy. We shoot and kill each other in a higher right than anyone. We need to fix our culture, dr Martin Luther King would be so upset with us.

  • Turtle Man
    Turtle Man 4 days ago

    The meanings really scared me man, i had to click out to check my back lol

  • Faded
    Faded 4 days ago


  • Alexa Villarreal
    Alexa Villarreal 4 days ago

    At the end you can seem him lighting a blunt and see the man he shot and a female

    • Alexa Villarreal
      Alexa Villarreal 4 days ago

      As this is going on I assume this is a way of showing drug abuse in a way I’m not too sure

  • Riko Valentine
    Riko Valentine 4 days ago

    Until I hear it from him, I can't agree

  • doret21
    doret21 4 days ago

    Def not to gain social media followers lol #shewrongforthat

  • Kai Chambers
    Kai Chambers 5 days ago

    The tattoo on his right arm says “get out of America WW3 is here” referencing current politics

  • Super Blob/Nebulous
    Super Blob/Nebulous 5 days ago

    Also realize, the moment he stepped on that car it immediately went off, which causes other cars to go off. Could this mean racism against the black is their quick assumption, or blacks are the immediate target?

  • Vien Tran
    Vien Tran 5 days ago

    Have you considered the possibility that “This a celly, that’s a tool” might just mean we care about our cellular devices like crazy even though they’re just tools? So basically it’s the common “nowadays we’re materialistic”. Of course it’s a matter of perception. Just my view.

  • Blue Cookie
    Blue Cookie 6 days ago

    3:38 I didn’t see his arm for a sec 😂

  • iiGhost_ly :
    iiGhost_ly : 6 days ago

    of course y’all ppl gotta think Of super accurate shit to use on This Is America how original and them somehow get it taken down...

  • Fenrir der Götterschreck

    German cars are better anyway :)

  • Jonty Bernardo
    Jonty Bernardo 6 days ago

    I know he's black but can u say it nicer

  • Jonty Bernardo
    Jonty Bernardo 6 days ago


  • Kawaii unicorn Girl
    Kawaii unicorn Girl 7 days ago

    You should now watch this is America *TWO*

  • The Awkward Wolf
    The Awkward Wolf 7 days ago

    The opinions are strong with this one

  • Sarai Garcia
    Sarai Garcia 7 days ago

    Im the only one thath its scared about the video

  • Arpita Patel
    Arpita Patel 7 days ago


  • R D
    R D 7 days ago

    Very talented young man.

  • Luca Pontes
    Luca Pontes 7 days ago

    I saw someone on twitter talk about a black man who was shot dead as his cellphone (celly) was seen as a weapon (tool) by an officer. Could also be referenced by the this a celly that's a tool line.

  • David Zapata
    David Zapata 7 days ago

    The 17 seconds of silence means the 17 students that got shot in Florida

  • The_cringy_ Animator

    I just want to say, those students can freaking dance!

  • Jacob G
    Jacob G 8 days ago

    “Red America values guns over lives” if anyone thinks that you must not be paying attention... Taking away guns makes people easier targets (people will get guns illegally still) so more people that can be trusted with them should have them to prevent these shootings. When there’s a massacre most of the time it’s in a gun free zone or there simply isn’t anyone with a gun or willing to use it to defend innocent lives. Think.

  • Real Slow One
    Real Slow One 9 days ago

    I just like all the jokes that came from it

  • riely rufino
    riely rufino 9 days ago

    0:33 - 0:37 : when you're at 10 hp running from the storm

  • IMX Impixilize
    IMX Impixilize 9 days ago

    no one has noticed that every car has been broken into

  • IMX Impixilize
    IMX Impixilize 9 days ago

    the way she says character

  • Low End Gamers
    Low End Gamers 9 days ago

    Some things you missed:
    He killed a bunch of people, and nobody cares, but he smokes a joint and cops chase him down.
    There are 17 seconds of silence after the hand gun symbol, for the 17 killed in the Florida shooting.
    The beginning part is a reference to 9/11
    "Don't catch you slippin'" is said because if you slip in todays society, you're fucked for the most part (at least in America).

  • Dwi Rahman Soleman
    Dwi Rahman Soleman 9 days ago

    I was distracted by the dance. I wasn't even know there's a horse in the background.... shit

  • BRAVOZULU DWEST boathouse

    why did the video never show watermelon or fried chicken?

  • BRAVOZULU DWEST boathouse

    all black should excape evil racist america they should all return to mother africa being surrounded by fellow blacks will make them safe far away from the evil slave owning whites a movement should happen to return all africans to safety back to africa

  • Stereo_Sanity
    Stereo_Sanity 9 days ago

    To sum this up,This Is America's hidden meaning showing violence on the song is saying that America isn't the greatest place to be like everybody says it is everybody should know what im saying.

  • Real Life Meme Videos
    Real Life Meme Videos 9 days ago +4

    *This Is Philippines*

    • Jude
      Jude 8 days ago

      Real Life Meme Videos hahha parang nga

  • natan gomes
    natan gomes 10 days ago

    all the subliminal messages of the clip are in this video, watch subtitled! thexvid.com/video/DzUpdQppsvE/video.html

  • Carmen Landaverde
    Carmen Landaverde 10 days ago

    A commonly used tool to unjustly keep blacks in a cycle of incarceration....🤔 you must be really stupid if that’s what you think prison is

  • Morgen Freeman
    Morgen Freeman 10 days ago

    BS u think red America values guns more than life you ignorant

  • King Russell11
    King Russell11 10 days ago +2

    The words when it first show gambling it says I know you want to die

  • R. Ilham Sastronegoro
    R. Ilham Sastronegoro 10 days ago


  • Rajeev Patel
    Rajeev Patel 10 days ago

    wow racist at 0:42

  • Reagile Molokomme
    Reagile Molokomme 10 days ago

    its gwarrra gwarrra and yeah we found out a long time ago with this is Nigeria

  • Lalocsta LOS the love of money

    All the violence they show and he walks off camera to light the joint

  • Floortje van Marrewijk
    Floortje van Marrewijk 11 days ago +1

    This song is so deep

  • KeRsHaL FeRnAnDo
    KeRsHaL FeRnAnDo 11 days ago

    Not all cars in warehouse are American

  • r ed
    r ed 12 days ago +1

    At the end he (America) climbs up onto an obsolete red car (obsolete conservative 'values') and then completely stops moving.
    Red paint on vertical beams in two shots. Not sure what those mean.

    • cool beans
      cool beans 7 days ago

      It's annoying that people think preserving individual liberty is outdated. Athoritarinism (progressives values) are significantly older.

  • MrDeeds
    MrDeeds 12 days ago

    You know how to stop racism? Stop talking about it.

  • Hold my sauce What’s the price?

    It isn’t even violence

  • Ryan Sweeney
    Ryan Sweeney 12 days ago

    what racism?

  • Lachlan O'Connell
    Lachlan O'Connell 12 days ago

    In Jewish and Christian tradition a red cloth is something put on a scapegoat’s head. Maybe it’s Childish Gambino saying that discussions on gun violence are used as a distraction or scapegoat for the issue of racism against black people.

  • BakingFever
    BakingFever 13 days ago +24

    "This is celly, that's a tool" is referring to the shooting of a young black teen after a cop mistook his phone for a gun

  • Jeff the Chef
    Jeff the Chef 13 days ago

    Subscribe to me for more

  • Saleem Cash
    Saleem Cash 13 days ago

    Dam hes great

  • MR.Dblue 04
    MR.Dblue 04 13 days ago

    Banning kkk?

  • Tina Alfredsen
    Tina Alfredsen 13 days ago

    you forgot the lady sitting on the car at the end. it can represents the body presure

  • Peter Pan
    Peter Pan 13 days ago

    I think people look to deep into shit

  • saphiii
    saphiii 13 days ago

    You missed one, it's where there is a person falling from the second floor, who is symbolizing people suiciding and nobody noticing.

  • Brian Schipp
    Brian Schipp 13 days ago

    Ther is chickens in the back ground and a guy on a car troing muny

  • Altea Cameron
    Altea Cameron 13 days ago

    BTW u missed when the girl is on the car as an prostitute

  • Awesomeskull 362
    Awesomeskull 362 13 days ago

    He waited almost 17 seconds before he smoked the weed. Before that the kids ran off screaming while he held up a gun gesture before bringing it down. That means something

  • Andruya Liestyandi
    Andruya Liestyandi 14 days ago

    The last scene i think represent the sound of police siren. When the lights off (meanings of when the world not see, the reality behind media coverage) majority afro americans are in state of threatened, no matter what he held a gun or not he will be always chased down, take down and shoot down in the place even by police itself.
    - I'm sorry before bcos I'm not an american and english is not my primary language. I'm just want to write my opinion about this video.

  • ukar
    ukar 14 days ago

    Bring in more woke nibbas

  • Hobi is my city
    Hobi is my city 14 days ago


  • Michael Killerby
    Michael Killerby 14 days ago

    Dam I thought this was some shitty attempt at music, but now I see the bigger picture, so dam intense

  • jack hummilton
    jack hummilton 14 days ago