‘This is America’: Childish Gambino sued by rapper
American actor Childish Gambino is being sued for alleged copyright encroachment, with the rapper Kidd Wes saying the Grammy-winning hit “This Is America” was lifted from him.
As per US federal court documents, Emelike Nwosuocha says the 2018 rap smash from Donald Glover, whose alter ego is Childish Gambino, is “glaringly similar” to a song he released two years prior on the Soundcloud platform.
The complaint filed in New York cites “nearly-identical unique rhythmic, lyrical, and thematic compositional and performance content contained in the chorus — or ´hook´ — sections that are the centrepieces of both songs.”
“This Is America” in 2019 become the first rap song to win the prestigious Grammys honouring best song and best record.
The song is loaded with social discourse and compares an up-tempo rhythm, layered with church hymns and Afrobeats, with a heavier, more foreboding bassline.
Nwosuocha says the flow of his song and Gambino´s are “unmistakably substantially similar, if not practically identical.”
He cited a musicologist he employed to compare the two tracks, who said “similarities in melodic contour, rhythmic triplet flow in each performance, and the lines ´Made in America´ and ´This is America´” are “likely not coincidences.”
Nwosuocha is looking for a trial and harms, including for lost benefits and opportunities.
Among the respondents named in the complaint is Gambino’s record mark RCA, alongside Roc Nation and the rapper Young Thug, who is credited as a writer and performing backing vocals.
Gambino has not openly reacted to the charges.
In 2018 a blogger composed of similarities between “This Is America” and a track from rapper Jase Harley called “American Pharaoh.”
Harley declined to seek legal action, as Gambino’s manager dismissed the copyright infringement claims, saying PC records tracing all the way back to 2015 demonstrated Gambino’s song was original.
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