Redditors have been wondering if Childish Gambino’s hit song, This Is America, has borrowed a little too generously, Jase Harley’s song, titled ‘American Pharaoh’, which was released in 2016.
The original This is America spoke about the injustice that has been going on in the country. There were a lot of hidden messages, which fans were quick to point out, and the song was widely praised by many for speaking out about these issues in such a creative and powerful way. However, the song has now been criticised for sounding very similar to another rapper’s song, which was released two years ago.
Gambino’s “This is America” turns out to sound oddly like “American Pharaoh” by Jase Harley.
— Kristi (@CinderSlays) June 25, 2018
Rapper, Jase Harley, released a song titled ‘American Pharaoh’ on popular streaming site, Soundcloud, in 2016. Harley raps about how he is young and black in America, and how the country is trying to attack and embarrass black people. He then goes on to talk about his own personal experience in America, and also about division that is caused by violence throughout the country. The whole song sounds similar to Gambino’s This Is America, in beat and lyrics. Although Jase said that he is happy that Gambino perhaps took inspiration from this song, it would’ve been cool if he Childish Gambino shouted out the rapper for the inspiration.
Yeah he's talked about it a bit on IG and doesn't seem upset…but also doesn't seem to have gotten the bag either pic.twitter.com/oMFqPKgIt4
— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) June 25, 2018
Jase’s comments said in full:
“I always felt my song inspired it lol from the first time I heard it. it’s cool tho.. glad they liked my song. It’s all love…a shout out would be cool 🤷🏾♂️ all good tho.. he’s a great artist, dope I could’ve had some influence on the record. all artists get inspired by others. artists being thirsty for bread is why ppl don’t wanna credit anyone for inspiration. It’s all love and support from me, glad if my record influenced his.”
Gambino’s manager, Fam Rothstein, Tweeted out a now deleted Tweet expressing anger the rumors, and also insulting our future fetuses. Screengrab courtesy of AV Club:
People across Twitter were quick to point out the similarities, and how awkward it is that the two tracks are so similar.
They sound an awful lot alike… pic.twitter.com/1HOKFfJsxW
— Trouble 🍍 (@LongDonnSilver) June 24, 2018
https://t.co/vzE7948Gn7 They sound mad similar in structure and certain parts of the flow. This is one of the few times where it doesn't seem like people are reaching bro. Hmm.
— ✞⁷ (@jrewl) June 25, 2018
This is veeeery true. However for subject matter, tempo, beat variation, flow and cadence to ALL be exact it does raise an eyebrow. Especially the subject matter. No idea's original. Most talented people are notorious for thieving.
— RakPo (@therealrakpo) June 25, 2018
However, some people were quick to back up Childish Gambino, and defended the rapper by mentioning how they’re both great songs, and how sometimes it can be very easy to copy another beat without even realising.
Ppl who aren’t musicians don’t understand how easy it is to accidentally copy someone else’s track. There’s a finite number of variables in harmony, rhythm, texture/sound world etc.
— The Land (@lovecleveland) June 25, 2018
okay so I listened to “American Pharaoh” and compared it to “this is America” and like it’s kind of similar but it’s honestly just that. similar. Bino didn’t steal that song. Both songs are very good. I will say tho jase Harley has found his way into my dossier 🙂 dude is good fr
— dylan richardson (@futurafunky) June 25, 2018
However, it’s not all bad news for Jase Harley, as he has gained some new fans from all of this drama and has finally been recognised for his talent.
As far as this Childish Gambino and @jaseharleymedia controversy, however it’s resolved, got to say Jase’s rap performs better and this is from a Glover fan through and through.
Also wouldn’t hate it if someone put Jase’ verses on this is America’s Beat.
— i know some words (@EzraAllen_RWP) June 25, 2018
— 👽Vic👽 (@VicForPrez) June 25, 2018
The final word however should belong to Jase, who emphasized that the importance of the message should overshadow anything, and that both songs are ultimately a collective good, saying:
“PLEASE DON’T let this controversy dilute the message me and Childish Gambino are trying to convey. We are speaking about injustices we’ve encountered and he’s helped to provide a platform for all our voices to be heard.”
Jase Harley is cool.
What do you think? Do you think the two songs sound similar? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.