From China to Iraq, Brazil and Nigeria, the world has given the tune its own spin.
When Donald Glover dropped the powerful "This Is America" video back in early May the surprise Childish Gambino track immediately racked up way more YouTube views than any of the rapper/actor's other videos. But in addition to making a stark, funky statement on the state of the nation, the unapologetically blunt images of gun violence and allusions to racial profiling also opened a Pandora's box of catharsis for budding rappers across the globe to use "America" as a template to dance through their own pain and strife.
On Wednesday's (Aug. 1) edition of PRI's The World, some of the most striking remixed versions of the song and video from Iraq, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and France were profiled as a doorway into how Gambino's mixture of elegant beats and in-your-face imagery has inspired artists around the world. From "This Is Nigeria," which weaves some traditional instruments over lyrics about political and police corruption to the violence against women in "This Is South Africa" and the war-torn chaos of "This Is Iraq," each video and song uses the song as a template to speak on national issues.