Donald Glover’s creative partner Fam Rothstein has denied allegations that the rapper-producer plagiarized New York rapper Jase Harley for his hit political track “This Is America.”
“The internet is a place of no consequences,” Rothstein said, in a tweet that has since been deleted. “I hate that Toronto Akademiks/every white blogger can say something as gospel and y’all take it. This song is 3 yrs old, and we have Pro Tools files to prove it.”
The allegations that Glover — also known by his rap persona Childish Gambino — ripped off Harley’s 2016 song “American Pharaoh” first surfaced on Reddit, when users brought up a brief conversation that took place in the comments on Harley’s Instagram. One fan wrote, “people are saying Donald Glover bit your song ‘American Pharoah’ with ‘This Is America.’ What do you think?” Harley confirmed his suspicions, saying “I always felt my song inspired it lol from the first time I heard it.”
He softened the blow by adding “It’s cool tho…. Glad they liked my song. It’s all love.” Though he still thinks “a shout out would be cool,” and that it’s “dope [he] could’ve had some influence on the record.” Further, he reiterated the old adage that “all artist get inspired by others.”
“This Is America” has gained Donald Glover national attention, and the artist has enjoyed immense success since its release. The song has now gone platinum, with the strongest first-week debut of any video this year at over 85 million YouTube views. At the time of this writing, it has already been watched over 300 million times.
Glover, for his part has yet to publicly respond to the plagiarism allegations.