Cape Town – Here’s how it all began: On Sunday night during the BET Awards Twitter started buzzing that Childish Gambino had allegedly plagiarised his hit This is America from another artist.
People started tweeting about the song during the award ceremony because host, Jamie Foxx started singing the song on camera.
Ironically enough, the main tweet credited with started the plagiarism claims, has been accused of plagiarising itself in the replies.
SEE THAT TWEET HERE:
Jamie Foxx talking about This Is America and we found out Donald Glover stole the song today qjajaldmaksmaksm— Ahmed/Toronto Akademiks/Every White Blogger (@big_business_) June 25, 2018
WHO DID CHILDISH GAMBINO ALLEGEDLY COPY THE SONG FROM AND WHEN WAS IT RELEASED?
New York rapper Jase Harley’s March 2016 song called American Pharaoh is the song that Twitter users are claiming Gambino stole.
LISTEN TO THE SONG HERE:
NOW LISTEN TO CHILDISH GAMBINO'S THIS IS AMERICA:
WHAT THE ARTIST BEHIND AMERICAN PHARAOH HAS TO SAY:
Jase Harley’s first response to these claims came on Instagram when someone wrote to him in the comments underneath a post:
“People are saying Donald Glover bit your song ‘American Pharoah’ with ‘This Is America.’ What do you think?” Harley then responded: “I always felt my song inspired it lol from the first time I heard it," adding, "artists being thirsty for bread is why ppl don’t wanna credit anyone for inspiration. It’s all love and support from me, glad if my record influenced his". (See the post and comment here).
THEN ON MONDAY HARLEY SHARED AN INSTAGRAM POST ADDRESSING THE ENTIRE SAGA:
In the caption he said: "I feel extremely humbled to be recognised and labeled as one or the original inspirations for one of the most important pieces of music and visual art of our time(sic).
Adding: "I appreciate all the love and support! But PLEASE DON’T let this controversy dilute the message me and @childishgambinoare 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. (sic)”
SEE THE FULL POST HERE:
WHAT CHILDISH GAMBINO'S TEAM HAD TO SAY:
One of Donald Glover’s collaborators, Fam Rothstein, has denied the plagiarism claims in a since deleted tweet. Rothstein is a co-principal of the creative agency Wolf + Rothstein which is comprised of himself, Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) , and Wolf Taylor. He also co-produced the music video for This Is America.
The deleted tweet read: “The internet is a place of no consequences. 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.” (To reiterate, the tweet has since been deleted.)