*Childish Gambino (AKA Donald Glover) is being sued over his 2018 single “This Is America,” by an artist who claims the track is a rip-off of his own song titled “Made in America.”
Per TMZ, Emelike Nwosuocha—a rapper who performs under the name Kidd Wes—claims he created his track on SoundCloud in September 2016 and later released it on YouTube. He registered the song with the U.S Copyright Office in May 2017. According to the court docs … Kidd Wes claims the chorus, or hook, of “This is America” is “unmistakably substantially similar, if not practically identical” to “Made in America.”
Gambino dropped “This Is America” in 2018, and it won a Grammy for Record of the Year.
Glover’s music video tells a history of Black oppression in America. The rapper’s creative director Ibra Ake previously spoke about the video’s goal to normalize Blackness.
“It’s, like, this is how we would like to dance, but we have to be aware of the danger and the politics of how we’re perceived and the implications of the history of how we were treated,” Ake said. “There’s all this math you’re constantly doing expressing yourself […] We’re trying to not have to explain ourselves to others and just exist, and not censor what our existence looks like as people.”
He continued: “We reduced it to a feeling ― a very black feeling, a very violent feeling, but also a very fun feeling. If you’re at the club and there’s a shooting outside, you still have to go get food afterwards and you have to compartmentalize that. Being marginalized is compartmentalizing trauma to exist in the world. I cant stop being black because of trauma and discrimination. I still have to live life and forge on.”
Meanwhile, here’s more from TMZ about the lawsuit:
Wes claims Gambino’s “flow” is also substantially similar to his, and points to key lyrics in “Made in America” being similar to the hook’s refrain in “This is America,” for example:
“Made in America / Flex on the radio / Made me a terrorist / Pessimistic n***as / You should just cherish this”
Compared to this: “This is America / Guns in my area / I got the strap / I gotta carry ’em”
Kidd Wes believes he was intentionally ripped off, and he’s suing Gambino, the co-writers of the track, the record label Roc Nation, and rapper Young Thug who sings backup vocals on “This Is America”.