Childish Gambino Accused of Ripping 2016 Track for His Song “This Is America”
Nearly two months after dropping off his buzzy hit single,"This Is America," Childish Gambino is now facing accusations that the inspiration behind the politically-charged track wasn't necessarily original.
On Sunday night (June 24), the internet erupted with speculation after it was discovered that the platinum record sounds awfully like New Jersey rapper Jase Harley's "American Pharaoh." The track was released as the lead single off of Harley's debut album Free Pxrn: The Memoir of an American Heathen back in 2016.
Upon first listen, it's clear that both songs have slightly different rhythms. However, each track shares a number of striking similarities including instrumentation, lyrical cadence, vocal inflection and a rather obvious paralleled subject matter. One line in particular that has fans raising questions is Harley's, “I’m young and I’m Black in America."
While the discovery has sparked much debate on social media, Harley appears to be taking the matter in stride. Over the weekend, the rapper shared his thoughts on the songs' resemblance via Instagram. Harley claims he considered "This Is America" to have been “inspired” by his work, even from his initial listen. However, Harley's only interest lies in receiving credit for his work. “A shout out would be cool," he wrote in a series of Instagram comments. "All good tho…he’s a great artist, dope I could’ve had some influence on the record."
He continued, “All artist get inspired by others…artists being thirsty for bread is why ppl [sic] don’t wanna credit anyone for inspiration. It’s all love and support from me, glad if my record influenced his.”
While Gambino has yet to respond on the controversy at hand, his manager, Fam Udeorji, didn't hesitate to send a very strong message to the Atlanta star's detractors early Monday morning (June 25). "The Internet is a place of no consequences," Uderoji wrote on Twitter. "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. But fuck you and your moms, and your future fetuses. stay blessed."
Since its release, back in May, Gambino's album sales soared more than 400 percent, earned the rapper a No. 1 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 and spawned a handful of remixes from all different genres.
Listen to Gambino's "This Is America" as well as Harley's "American Pharaoh" below and you be the judge.
See New Music Releases for June 2018