Donald Glover’s alter ego, Childish Gambino won Song of the Year for “This is America” last night, the first rap song in Grammys history to win the award. Later, the song also won for Record of the Year and Best Music Video.
“This is America” is a derisive video about gun violence, and had a massive viral release becoming one of the most talked-about moments in 2018. The music video racked up more than 30 million views on YouTube in less than 48 hours. The video was directed by Hiro Murai (who has also directed several episodes of Atlanta), and the surreal visuals are packed with references about racism and violence in America.
Glover was notably absent from the show. He along with other artists including Drake and Kendrick Lamar declined invitations to the Grammys. Their absences are rumored to be a protest against the Grammys’ issues with diversity and its many awards categories.
However, Glover’s absence, notwithstanding his huge wins may have only underscored the messages behind his music.