Childish Gambino’s deeply evocative “This Is America” single has gone Platinum according to the RIAA. The single’s success is no surprise at all, but the question of the song alone generating interest without the accompanying video, is what makes this feat so remarkable. “This Is America” has held the number one position on several divisional charts since debuting on May 7th, the weekend Donald Glover literally made Saturday Night Live his very own playground.
“This Is America” debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 100, and held the spot for two consecutive weeks before yielding to Drake’s “Nice for What” video single. NPR described the visual components as “a shocking and brilliantly produced video for the song that’s left fans and music critics scratching their heads for days.” I concur that in the subsequent days after its release, I had a conversation centered on “This Is America” with every one of my close friends, and countless others who love to blabber for the sake of it. Some people have been reticent to a form an opinion, largely because they have a hard time passing credit, out of spite it seems. In a sense song and video are hard to disentangle, but the streaming record speaks for itself. Fans have found reason to enjoy the record without the visual crutch.