Shortly after he took the stage to host and perform on Saturday Night Live, Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, released a (literally) breathtaking visual for his new track, “This Is America.”
In the four-minute clip, Gambino goes from dance meditations to murder in the blink of an eye — and that’s the point. What starts with the actor/musician grooving along to the beat of an acoustic guitar player sitting nearby turns into an instantly murderous moment, as Gambino picks up a gun and shoots the man, now hooded, in the back of a head 53 seconds into the video.
The first words out of his mouth? “This is America. Don’t catch you slippin’ up.”
From there, Gambino’s joined by dancing school kids and a gospel choir, who sing until Gambino mows them down with what appears to be a semi-automatic rifle. The refrain continues, as cop cars enter the frame and chaos unfolds around him and the dancers: “This is America / Don’t catch you slippin’ up / Look how I’m livin’ now / Police be trippin’ now / Yeah, this is America / Guns in my area (word, my area) / I got the strap / I gotta carry ’em.”
Gambino will hit the road with Rae Sremmurd and Vince Staples this fall, with the tour kicking off in Atlanta on Sept. 6. Watch “This Is America” below.