Donald Glover had been releasing great music as Childish Gambino for a couple years but only just rocketed into the stratosphere with the work of genius that is This Is America.
But whose genius is it??
In a hip hop discussion group on Reddit over the weekend some fans claimed the megahit was stolen from rapper Jase Harley‘s 2016 song American Pharoah.
The lesser known track does not have the already iconic visuals to go along with it, which went a long way towards making This Is America the success it was, but there are definite similarities in the audio tracks.
Listen to both and see the artists’ responses (below):
Harley responded to the controversy on Instagram and rather than deny the accusation he said he assumed he “inspired” the track:
He later posted a longer response saying he was “humbled” by people recognizing his “influence”:
“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.”
However, he did tell fans not to “let this controversy dilute the message” they both were trying to express on their songs:
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. I appreciate all the love and support! But PLEASE DONâ€™T let this controversy dilute the message me and @childishgambino are trying to convey. We are speaking about injustices weâ€™ve encountered and heâ€™s helped to provide a platform for all our voices to be heard. Letâ€™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. Letâ€™s not lose focus ðŸ™ðŸ¾ #noonewinswhenthefamilyfeuds #futuristsA post shared by JASE HARLEY (@jaseharley) on Jun 25, 2018 at 8:41am PDT
But This Is America co-producer Fam Rothstein was not about ignoring the accusations; he flat-out denied them.
“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. but fuck you and your moms, and your future fetuses. stay blessed.”
Donald Glover has yet to respond publicly.
What do YOU think??