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Childish Gambino targets gun violence, racism in viral video

"This is America," a graphic video by actor/recording artist Donald Glover that serves as a searing indictment of gun violence is racking up the views on YouTube
AFP

Washington (AFP) – A graphic music video by Childish Gambino is racking up the views on YouTube with a powerful message about gun violence and racism in America.  

“This Is America” by Childish Gambino — the actor and recording artist Donald Glover — has amassed more than 35 million views on YouTube in just two days, rocketing to the top of the site’s trending page.

The four-minute video begins with a shirtless Glover dancing to soothing rhythms in an empty warehouse and singing “We just wanna party” and “We just want the money.”

Glover suddenly pulls out a handgun from the back of his pants and executes a hooded man sitting in a chair.

A heavier, more foreboding beat drops, and Glover raps “This is America — don’t catch you slipping up.”

“Yeah, this is America,” he says. “Guns in my area.”

Later in the video, Glover guns down an all-black church choir in a sequence some commentators have interpreted as a reference to the 2015 murders of nine black churchgoers by a white supremacist in Charleston, South Carolina.

At several points, children in school uniforms join Glover in his hypnotic dance as violence occurs in the background.

The video, directed by Hiro Murai, ends with a terror-stricken Glover fleeing as from a lynch mob.

Glover’s video follows an appearance over the weekend on the hit comedy show “Saturday Night Live.”

The 34-year-old actor and musician is to appear as Lando Calrissian in “Solo” A Star Wars Story” being released on May 25.

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