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 • 26 251

  • Ms Fleet owner
    Ms Fleet owner 3 hours ago

    another hidden meaning i saw in the video is at the end when he was seemingly running for his life. in the background, if you notice what appeared to be white and black ppl chasing him. White ppl where directly behind him at the forefront of the chase symbolizing that they are always hot on our trail and will never just freely let us escaspe their suppression and oppression, which keeps a lot of black ppl in DEPRESSION..the black ppl that where on the outside of the chase symbolized to me black ppl trying to escape as well and black ppl that continue to be enslaved puppet masters for white ppl who also try to keep fellow black ppl in that oppressive mentality..this is just my analysis of what i interpreted from that part of the video in addition to all the other things that the young lady pointed out!

  • Ms Fleet owner
    Ms Fleet owner 3 hours ago

    another hidden meaning i saw in the video is at the end when he was seemingly running for his life. in the background, if you notice what appeared to be white and black ppl chasing him. White ppl where directly behind him at the forefront of the chase symbolizing that they are always hot on our trail and will never just freely let us escaspe their suppression and oppression, which keeps a lot of black ppl in DEPRESSION..the black ppl that where on the outside of the chase symbolized to me black ppl trying to escape as well and black ppl that continue to be enslaved puppet masters for white ppl who also try to keep fellow black ppl in that oppressive mentality..this is just my analysis of what i interpreted from that part of the video in addition to all the other things that the young lady pointed out!

  • Mohamad Aminzadeh
    Mohamad Aminzadeh 3 hours ago

    its music listen to in and enjoy it,life is short you dont have to pay so much atention to details

  • AlexanderTheGr8
    AlexanderTheGr8 3 hours ago

    This is Donald Trumps America 😭 jk Issa libturd joke

  • Aya Sameh
    Aya Sameh 6 hours ago

    I came here for the pants

  • Chipsonic Restoneia
    Chipsonic Restoneia 6 hours ago

    One thing that stuck out to me was the police cars and the police officers chase it people near the cars. This might be a referenced police brutality in America.

  • Nissi's World
    Nissi's World 7 hours ago

    I'm a black 10 yr old and I have question on 2:01 how the hell do black people look like that

  • its from japab
    its from japab 7 hours ago

    I don’t know to much about Judy garland (other than she was in the wizard of oz and that she’s dead) but damn I can’t/can believe that she did that

  • its from japab
    its from japab 7 hours ago


  • Zachary Gaming
    Zachary Gaming 8 hours ago

    im the 25,925 guy to see an america hater

  • HaikkalHedrion
    HaikkalHedrion 12 hours ago

    Yo man..., this is deep

  • Stephen Bracco
    Stephen Bracco 13 hours ago

    Two chickens come home to roost at around 1 minute 30 seconds in his video. And "black man get your money" = the materialistic, consumerist message that IS America. Become a tool of the establishment, and maybe we'll stop shooting you. All the empty cars = America's suburban car culture lifestyle, it isolates.

  • Minoshka Downer
    Minoshka Downer 13 hours ago +1

    Love the song love the video love the meaning and love the way u broke it down thanks

  • khai mí
    khai mí 17 hours ago


  • Sua Beoni93
    Sua Beoni93 18 hours ago

    I literally hate America, I wanna move

  • Ashley YouTube
    Ashley YouTube 19 hours ago

    in the begging when its all empty around Gambino and the guy with the guitar... the emptiness represents how empty America is becoming because of all of the gun violence; and or suicide attempts

  • Mami Oreos
    Mami Oreos Day ago

    He probably just wore pants that he liked lmfao

  • Skyzon Cloncluxing

    It's meaning is shows how horrible america is with guns

  • Cary Coller
    Cary Coller Day ago

    Why can't it just be a cool entertaining song? Stop looking for something in everything. Good grief.

  • Lola
    Lola Day ago

    Slave pants. Well I'll be damned!

  • Nova Sniperr
    Nova Sniperr Day ago

    You missed that in the 2.14 mark, a man jumps to his death. This could relate to suicides in america.

  • nanofienduk
    nanofienduk Day ago

    I just thought it was about how america is self obsessed , a generation that films tragic events rather than stops them and is de sensitized to tragic events , these things can happen all around you but you keep dancing and ignoring the negatives in blissful ignorance of reality as its out of your individual control,turning to weed to distract themselves from the problems of society and reality , in the end everyone is running for their lives in panic in what they call " freedom" you could find thousands of meanings in this video does not mean they are planned , like many videos , it is genius tho , amazing iconography! the onl difference in great Britain is gun laws and alcohol instead of weed but its much the same in all the "developed free world" BTW great when high

  • Dominic Tirl
    Dominic Tirl Day ago

    Red America? Republicans don't shoot black people in the inner cities
    Chicago has strict gun laws and criminals don't care about gun laws

  • 챙데렐라chaengderella

    also a message i found was in the choir scene
    The paint of the wall behind the choir is white and red, same with door so it looks like camouflage.
    When gambino (acting as the suspect) opened the door, the paint on the door still blends well with colors of the wall and it looks like no one noticed it.
    When gambino went in the room no one still noticed (like in the florida school shooting)
    And gambino's weapon was a rifle i think? and that rifle was the weapon that the suspect of the florida school shooting used.
    and that scene is a metaphor for the florida school shooting.. a metaphor for the event that no one saw coming (that's why the paint color of the door is like camouflage)

  • Sani Dragneel
    Sani Dragneel Day ago +2

    If you notice there are police cars but no police in them and/or if they are there they’re not doing anything to stop the violence. They don’t like us and we are killing ourselves anyway for them. Why would they want to stop us?

    • Sani Dragneel
      Sani Dragneel Day ago

      Another thing I noticed is that he always passes the gun to a child. Also notice it’s children videotaping everything that’s happened. It’s also children copping him dancing.
      I think this points to children always being there and watching and learning from what we do now. Which is repeating the cycle through them.

  • Donlad Trump
    Donlad Trump Day ago

    Celly tool part is what ?

  • Magda Kowalska
    Magda Kowalska Day ago

    Co za gówno amerykańskie

  • bubbles
    bubbles Day ago

    So shocking!.... Lol

  • Hen Hen
    Hen Hen Day ago

    Celly means celebration or at least in hockey it does

  • Shadow Shulk
    Shadow Shulk Day ago

    He ran to Canada

  • AshleeCupcakes454
    AshleeCupcakes454 2 days ago

    It has a a lot of hidden messages right but is he not part of the Illuminati? Meaning is also feeding into this. Entertaining the people is huge in this aspect where everyone is not out the matrix thinking for themselves.

  • miickey505
    miickey505 2 days ago

    Poeple who get surprise with this ...than you live in a perfect life ..and still doesn't know shit about the world...

  • Jonathan Viton
    Jonathan Viton 2 days ago +2

    I don't get all the racism white or black Chinese or American what's the difference we're all human beings at the end of the day

    • Jonathan Viton
      Jonathan Viton Day ago +1

      Zoe - it's like Humanity instead of trying to become better we become worse every day

    • Zoe -
      Zoe - Day ago +2

      Jonathan Viton ikr?

  • Pete Chlopek
    Pete Chlopek 2 days ago

    American cars looked like a Toyota to me.

  • Winston Smith
    Winston Smith 2 days ago

    They're putting the guns in red clothe so they don't get their prints on them then take them away to wipe them

  • PanicWeasel
    PanicWeasel 2 days ago

    I never new this song had an important meaning to it

  • kausmo tumynski
    kausmo tumynski 2 days ago

    Actually most of the cars are Japanese made hooptie's, could be a play on bling used in most hip-hop vids..

  • Jayelle Glover
    Jayelle Glover 2 days ago

    Uhhh I didn’t notice sza

  • Airsoft JOKER
    Airsoft JOKER 2 days ago

    The last part where he is running away from white people

  • Bum Bum
    Bum Bum 2 days ago

    They do the hype emote

  • Ibrahim Mudassar
    Ibrahim Mudassar 2 days ago

    We did this in school and researched it.

  • DinoRex Makes
    DinoRex Makes 2 days ago

    Tbh, the thing tht suprised me in the video is the horse.

  • Christian's Personal Account

    Yes, of course, the term celli stands for the incarceration of black Americans, and they are only used to incarcerate them and no other races. Do you know what is wrong with this statement? The fact its bullshit paints a false narrative and spreads a lie.

  • Brad_Schit
    Brad_Schit 2 days ago

    I would say the Celly and Tools could also mean that violence sells

  • federico Tnn
    federico Tnn 3 days ago

    This video is pure propaganda and so is the music. Just useless propaganda.

  • King C
    King C 3 days ago

    Donald used to do standup comedy

  • Layah Myers
    Layah Myers 3 days ago

    Did he really shot that man and them the people at the church

  • Eduardo Pooter Reis
    Eduardo Pooter Reis 3 days ago

    Knight from Apocalipse? Plain WRONG.

  • O Sparks
    O Sparks 3 days ago

    The drunken stupor walk, the stumbling.... represents the pharma control over our bodies.... in addition to the GMOs that are also mutating (stumbling) our bodies and our DNA.
    The body contortions.... represents how America is so twisted in all facets of our lives....
    The imprisonment of our communities.... also imprisons the jailers.... except they get paid, while the prisoners lives are ruined
    Just like the gun are protected over people's lives, the red fabric represents the blood that is spilled to protect the American dream.... lived as luxurious only by the privileged few.
    We live a mini apocoplypse every day as the 'horse of oppression' rides thru our lives, our neighbourhoods, our lack of opportunity, our inability to feel safe.
    The horse reminds me of the slave patrols, as it rides throu the warehouse that looks like a jail: We move from slave patrols to the modern day jail houses which have replaced the plantations.
    These are some of the things I see in addition to what is said

  • Antrosa The Ant
    Antrosa The Ant 3 days ago +1

    im pretty sure he makes refrence to current rapstyle with the lyrics at 2:37 (original video) "Hunnid bands" x3, (possibly a refrence to Whiz song named the same) and then "Contraband" x3 (a refrence to how rapers like to brag abour doing illegal stuff probably) the melody is clearly a refrence to the song "Guchi gang" wich is probably one of the most infamous rap songs. At 2:20 and 2:32 (original video) there are refrences to the dances in the popular videogame Fortnite. After the shooting at 1:98 you can notice that a bunch of people come rushing in with hammers, this might be a refrence to how every situation get broken down, but that is a bit of a far streatch, 2:20 a refrence to "the whip" a dance move seen in the song "watch me whip"

  • Karisha Benny
    Karisha Benny 3 days ago

    "Room full of American cars" as he hops on a Toyota. Lol wut

  • Clorox Bleach
    Clorox Bleach 3 days ago +1

    This is Clorox bleach.
    Drink me.

  • Lyle DeColyse
    Lyle DeColyse 3 days ago

    Lame and overthought

    • Antrosa The Ant
      Antrosa The Ant 3 days ago

      except for that it is the actual intention of the video, they are going for the basic stuff here

  • Dos Moe
    Dos Moe 3 days ago

    Shooting the choir meant how in the past when white people shot and bombed and killed black churches

  • LEGEND 25
    LEGEND 25 3 days ago +1

    And I thought here gambino is on a meth daily

  • Kaiser Schnitsel Sr.

    niggar trash

  • austenluvr
    austenluvr 3 days ago

    nice interpretation... thank you for you opinion. very enlightening. I love this song and video...

  • Reaper Yoshimitsu
    Reaper Yoshimitsu 3 days ago

    Maybe they're isnt any actual hidden messages and to think that there is, is the true hidden message. People in our society constantly digging for hidden messages or things to blame which ends up turning into racism, discrimination, segregation, and non-progression of society as a whole. We are so focused on what's wrong that we forget that we are trying to fix it and instead make the wrong more prevalent.

    • Antrosa The Ant
      Antrosa The Ant 3 days ago

      that... is pretty stupid since nothing makes sense if you take it at face value

  • External117
    External117 3 days ago

    The text tattoo under Gambino's armpit when he outs his arms up

  • lotheeus
    lotheeus 3 days ago

    I'm not claiming that I'm a psychic
    - not like I believe them anyway -
    but I'll give him maybe a couple of years before he will be " found " in his place dead because of some " Drugs overdose "

  • James Bond
    James Bond 3 days ago

    Ok “Cellie” refers to a CELLMATE. Not a CELLBLOCK.

  • Ros Laighleis
    Ros Laighleis 4 days ago

    I'm embarrassed I even watched this. God save the youth.

  • Tamarius Matthews \My vids are funny XD/

    Now I don't wanna live in America now I know lol sike I always knew every country is a little messed up

    TAC TIMES 4 days ago +31

    Interesting how they blacked out the violent scenes to avoid age restriction and demonetization... TheXvid's hypocritical double standard on the depiction of graphic violence is all too clear.

  • MGTOW Survivalist
    MGTOW Survivalist 4 days ago

    Stupid negroes.

  • Your Daddy
    Your Daddy 4 days ago

    At the end of the video when Gambino was running. Notice it was all white people chasing him. America loves minority culture. but they hates us minorities.

  • simoFyou
    simoFyou 4 days ago +1

    weapons used for sacrificial rituals are wrapped in red clothes

  • Kingston Speers
    Kingston Speers 4 days ago

    Such clickbait bruh

  • Cowboy 44
    Cowboy 44 4 days ago

    Enough with the gun violence blacks can’t stop shooting each other for one damn minute but all they want to talk about is the white people shooting blacks and schools

    • Antrosa The Ant
      Antrosa The Ant 3 days ago

      Well, you know... all black people arent the same

  • British Buffoons
    British Buffoons 4 days ago

    When Gambino is running, he's running from whites. (Possible reference to Dear White People IDK)

  • RetroRay
    RetroRay 4 days ago +1

    A Celly is a cell-mate not the cell itself. Some are considered "tools" to their cellys being used for whatever money or canteen items they have to take.

  • Emma Ibrahim
    Emma Ibrahim 4 days ago

    Will! Wazzup!

  • Salbiah Danish
    Salbiah Danish 4 days ago

    Even i’m black

  • Salbiah Danish
    Salbiah Danish 4 days ago

    Don’t be racist guys

  • MISTIK31 the king of snipers

    The black dude riding a white horse is not for the apocalypse it's for death is coming on a white angle and the people hold there phones is for the people that know but don't tell

  • smokeyjayshouse
    smokeyjayshouse 4 days ago

    Bunch of bs and liberal propaganda.. yeah let's just let all the "unjustly imprisoned" black men out and drop them off in your neighborhoods and see how quickly you dumb fucks are gonna want them back in their cells.

    • Antrosa The Ant
      Antrosa The Ant 3 days ago

      well, all people arent unjust, you know, rape, murder that kinda things. but then there are thos who are because of racism and similar factors. where did they mention "unjustly imprisoned black men" i must have missed that

  • Pandu Widagdo
    Pandu Widagdo 4 days ago +3

    I'm not into this kind of music. But that's genius.

  • TheTamranator
    TheTamranator 4 days ago

    The man he shot in the beginning of the vid had the bag over his head, as if he had no identity, or his identity doesn't matter. The dancing and entertainment in the foreground to keep you distracted from what's going on, just like America

  • Anthony Bundy
    Anthony Bundy 4 days ago

    Why do they act like America is the worst place on earth tho?

    • Antrosa The Ant
      Antrosa The Ant 3 days ago

      Because while it technicly isnt, out of all the first world countries it is probably top 3 on most fucked up.

    • Ray Geno
      Ray Geno 4 days ago


  • James Pitt
    James Pitt 4 days ago

    This video does what it needs too, shock you...get it? The truth is truly scary...wake up America!! Every since 9/11...when they tell you the world would never be the same... it's because your addicted to violence. That's why news is violent and songs are happy. It's like killing to "Don't worry, be happy". Insane but true

  • iGoNegative
    iGoNegative 5 days ago +3

    I wouldnt call these "hidden messages." Theyre just messages. This is exactly why this song was written. Some of these "hidden messages" that you're pointing out seem a bit dumb though to be honest.

  • Tanner Brooks
    Tanner Brooks 5 days ago

    When he shoots the man in back of the head in the beginning it is a reference to Trayvon Martin who is shot from behind

  • Ultimate Man
    Ultimate Man 5 days ago

    Gambino is quite good, I didn't notice nothing on the background only focused on him. Master Piece! Well done! Now I need to watch again, lol, that is a good way to make money. Put lots of hidden message in your play. Eureka!

  • Bob dude
    Bob dude 5 days ago

    America is amazing cuz systematic racism is over

  • barbedwirekitty
    barbedwirekitty 5 days ago

    'Grandma said "get your money black man"' = reparations?

  • Anime Lover
    Anime Lover 5 days ago +1

    He did a fortnite dance its called Hype

  • iManister
    iManister 5 days ago

    Do u think Us is in the Crisis
    You are wrong India is in big crisis right now

    • Antrosa The Ant
      Antrosa The Ant 3 days ago

      Well ofc, but most of these problems would have fit in a third world country

  • PanicReign
    PanicReign 5 days ago

    Still waiting for the vid where he highlights the enormous uptick of violence due to the mainstreaming of the hood culture the past 10-15yrs... all of these "entertainers" are just puppets.

  • SynaXs
    SynaXs 5 days ago

    censoring the shootings, oh murica

  • SirShoepuffigton WilliamTheThird

    Not saying black people arebt oppressed but you know this message applies to everyone that is under American spell

  • Drake Surrette
    Drake Surrette 5 days ago

    You are reading to much into this dumb song

    • Drake Surrette
      Drake Surrette 3 days ago

      +Antrosa The Ant the song was made by a idiot

    • Antrosa The Ant
      Antrosa The Ant 3 days ago

      Drake Surrette what makes you think that?

    • Drake Surrette
      Drake Surrette 3 days ago

      +Antrosa The Ant no it is a dumb song with no meening

    • Antrosa The Ant
      Antrosa The Ant 3 days ago

      im not sure to say about this, you are clearly to ignorant to see it

    • Drake Surrette
      Drake Surrette 3 days ago

      +Antrosa The Ant no they are reading tomuchin to a dumb song

  • Hip Hughes
    Hip Hughes 5 days ago

    Here is the not so hidden history of Jim Crow. thexvid.com/video/2_gOtZ--4WE/video.html

  • Burnette Boykin
    Burnette Boykin 5 days ago

    Waht happend with the high voice

  • Full2134pkh plays ROBLOX


  • Sleepy Egg
    Sleepy Egg 5 days ago

    or y’know, that’s just how he dances

  • Queen Dynasty
    Queen Dynasty 6 days ago

    When she said apocalypse i paused so hard😐

  • Exotic Rose
    Exotic Rose 6 days ago +1

    At 2:19 the dance he was doing isn't from South Africa it was from Democratic republic of Congo it became popular and most people started doing it cause I asked my dad about it so, it's basically from Congo 🇨🇩 (If I am wrong please tell me what you think but not in a rude way cause this is what my dad and I think.)

  • blandine ngwenji
    blandine ngwenji 6 days ago

    Gwara Gwara originated in Nigeria... sorry presenter

  • dead gem
    dead gem 6 days ago

    so was I right to be depressed

  • Rick Kirkley
    Rick Kirkley 6 days ago

    The first guy that gets shot w the hood over his head is reminiscent and I believe a knod to Rene Magritte ... who we Know was an absurdist and one of the most notable surreal painters of the 20th century