CHILDISH Gambino’s powerful This Is America was a number one smash single worldwide — but did it rip off another two-year-old song?
A COLLABORATOR who works with Childish Gambino said the rapper did not plagiarise his hit song This Is America from another artist.
Childish Gambino, also known as actor Donald Glover, was accused of ripping off his hit song from New York-based rapper Jase Harley’s 2016 track American Pharaoh. A thread on Reddit compared Harley’s song with Gambino’s number one worldwide smash, stating the “instrumental is quite similar and the subject matter, inflection and flow is uncannily similar”.
Give the two undeniably similar tracks a listen below — and a warning, there is strong language throughout both:
This Is America
However, Fam Rothstein, of Wolf + Rothstein, a creative agency who helped co-produce Glover’s much celebrated This Is America music video, said the allegations were false and the song has been in production for three years.
“The internet is a place of no consequences. I hate that Toronto Akademiks/every white blogger [a music pundit on social media] can say something as gospel and y’all take it. This song is 3 years old, and we have Pro Tools files to prove it,” he tweeted.
Harley addressed the allegations on Instagram, saying he felt his song “inspired” Glover’s hit track.
“It’s cool tho … Glad they liked my song. It’s all love,” Harley wrote.
The rapper said he wished he could have gotten a “shout out” but was glad he had “some influence on the record”.
Harley continued to address the allegations on Instagram, adding that he was “humbled to be recognised”.
“I feel extremely humbled to be recognised and labelled as one or the original inspirations for one of the most important pieces of music and visual art of our time,” he wrote. “We are speaking about injustices we’ve encountered and he’s helped to provide a platform for all our voices to be heard. Let’s not discredit him for that!”
Glover has not immediately commented on the plagiarism claims.