Thursday 17 January 2019

Childish Gambino's manager rejects plagiarism claims against artist for hit track 'This is America'

Childish Gambino in the video for This is America
Childish Gambino in the video for This is America
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Childish Gambino's manager has dismissed claims of plagiarism leveled at the artist for his hit track This is America.

Just a day after the Atlanta star, whose real name is Donald Glover, performed a mini version of the track on stage at the BET Awards, music fans took to Twitter to level accusations of plagiarism at him.

Some Twitter users have noticed similarities between This is America and a 2016 track called American Pharoah by New York MC Jase Harley (scroll down to listen to both).

However, Glover's manager Fam Rothstein has hit back at the accusations, tweeting, "This song is 3 yrs old, and we have Pro Tools (sound) files to prove it."  He warned against such claims being taken as "gospel".

The music video for the song, which features a shocking shooting and explores themes of gun violence and black oppression, went viral, pulling almost a million views in just one hour after it debuted on SNL, and has to date racked up 3.3m views on YouTube.

The artist has not yet directly responded to the claims, but Harley has taken to Instagram to give his take on it.

"I feel extremely humbled to be recognized and labeled as one or the original inspirations for one of the most important pieces of music and visual art of our time," he wrote.

"I appreciate all the love and support! But PLEASE DON’T let this controversy dilute the message me and @childishgambino are trying to convey. 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!

"The focus should be on affecting change in our communities and building equality. This is bigger than me and him and bigger than music. Let’s not lose focus      #noonewinswhenthefamilyfeuds #futurists"

Here are both tracks:

Read more: The 10 most influential music videos of all time (and top three Irish videos)

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