This is America

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  • This is America
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith

    It depends what it inspired and its context.

    FFS they make schoolkids write essays about some scribbles about daffodils and clouds


    The key word there is “you”.

    You’re f***in’ A that’s the key word – I’m sorry if you think I’ve been judgemental, you have my abject apologies if anything I’ve said has been in any way seen as a criticism of the song, but I (I, me, just me, not saying it’s bad) do not get the “genius” label the world has attached to it. If you love it, I’m sorry not to comply, but it does nothing for me. My last word on it.


    But I repeat, where’s the genius in a song you have to have explained to you?

    Possibly it’s that there could be people who are part of the problem (for one/all of the issues involved), but who are not the extremists, who might see this.  As mikewsmith said:

    You will never change the extremes, what you aim for is the ones in the middle who are either apathetic or not overly to one side.

    The song and video are very popular and will reach a wide audience.  If it gets some of those people to say “Huh? What was all that about then?” and they have things explained to them, they *might* just have a light-bulb moment.  A bit like the excellent racism video up there ^, people often just act the way they do without really thinking about the consequences.  If you can educate some people on some of the issues then a little progress has been made.  In this instance making a popular but slightly cryptic music video seems to be an effective way of doing that.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    @Pondo, don’t be apologising, nothing to apologise for! I don’t like the song that much btw! The bassline’s awesome but the vocal’s lightweight and I really don’t like the looped vocals (repeating a line’s one thing but it just sounds so weird when you loop the recording instead of just singing it twice) .I mean, imagine Chuck D delivering the lines with the voice of god instead. And the actual volume of lyrics is so low, it’d take exhibit about 20 seconds to get to the end. But people aren’t really talking about just the song or just about the video

    And what I’m really getting at is, does it matter what percentage of the audience will get 100% or 90% or 10% of the content? Even if you get no subtext at all it’s a pretty mesmerising performance just for pure theatre, like This Too Shall Pass only with other stuff going on. It’s not like a housebrick in an art gallery that’s just like soooooo profound man because blah blah, it’s… like a painting where you can not worry about whether ithe sunset represents the decline of british sea power or the end of the heroic age of naval warfare or a golden tribute to a ship’s life, or actually is just a bloody gorgeous painting of a sunset.

    (OK, don’t get too carried away me, I’m not saying it’s a Turner painting really. Just that it can be enjoyed with or without subtext and a degree in musicvideology)

    I like the colours used for the room / painted on the wall that the choir sing in……I believe it is reference to the new Ben and Jerry’s Swirly Berry Limited Edition flavour

    Premier Icon bikebouy

    Wow, got you lot taking about the vid eh.

    That new series of his is call Atlanta (not Atlantic) and is on BBC2, if anyone’s interested.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp

    That’s a great piece of performance art and I’m glad it’s got people talking. That can only be s good thing. Whether it’s genius or not really doesn’t matter, as long as it serves the purpose that the artist intended it to.

    Lyrically I think it’s quite weak, but the visuals are stunning. That’s just personal preference though. Artists such as Brother Ali (in particular Uncle Sam, Goddamn) and B. Dolan (Which Side Are You On) are better political lyricists in my opinion. I’d love to see a collaboration with either of those and Gambino.

    Atlanta is a great. I’m keeping my eye out for a Now TV offer so I can watch the second series

    Premier Icon colournoise

    Quite like it when pop tries to do something a bit different.

    Personal interpretation is a weird thing. First reference came to my mind with dancing on the car was a Michael Jackson video (for Black Panther IIRC. Interesting…).

    Also, if the genius word is being bandied about, who are we lauding? Glover (talented as he undoubtedly is), or whoever directed the video? Team effort?

    Premier Icon convert

    I get that it needn’t be immediately obvious

    where’s the genius in a song you have to have explained to you

    You sound slightly conflicted on the issue. I guess some people (me included) would need to have some of the analogies explained simply because I’m not broadly educated enough to understand the references without help. But that is true of a huge number of artistic works. Sister Wendy would have been out of a job if we all got all the references in the painting of the revered  great masters without a little help. Please don’t think that I am comparing this work favourably to Shakespeare or Rembrandt etc, I’m not convinced it is ‘genius’ or what the threshold for genius is but just debating the notion generally.

    Premier Icon DezB

     it just sounds so weird

    Excellent. Pop needs more weird.

    Premier Icon DezB

    Wouldn’t it be nice, if those who slag it as crap, or just dull, posted something in reply. See this! This is what you call interesting/controversial/breaking new ground! But no, they go back to Brothers In Arms all satisfied with a bit of fancy guitar playing (I imagine) 🙂


    rather than sleeping i’ve been clicking around the internet and found this link….might be useful/interesting to some….

    hover over the lyrics, it’ll turn yellow. click them for cultural references.

    i’m now off to click about and follow the links and waste another few hours of my life.

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