Last night, Jamie Foxx went off the script during the BET Awards to praise Donald Glover for all of his groundbreaking work and specifically highlighted the impact of “This Is America.” Not long after this powerful moment, Reddit users noticed that the single is remarkably similar to Jase Harley‘s song “American Pharaoh.” The track is included on the New Jersey artist’s 2016 album Free Pxrn: The Memoir of an American Heathen.
Not only does the original production sound almost identical to Childish Gambino‘s latest hit, but they also touch on some of the same subjects as pointed out by Genius. Addressing the Black American experience is an integral theme on both tracks as well as hitting some of the ongoing sociopolitical issues affecting the community like police brutality, race relations and citizenship.
There’s no denying that the songs have many things in common, but could it be possible that Glover was partially inspired by Harley and simply neglected to credit the creator? Fam Rothstein from Glover’s management team (and the music supervisor of Atlanta) recently took to Twitter to publicly deny the plagiarism accusations in a post that has since been deleted but read as follows: “the Internet is a place of no consequences. I hate that Toronto Akademiks/every white blogger can say something as gospel and y’all take it. this song is 3 yrs old, and we have pro tools files to prove it. but fuck you and your moms, and your future fetuses. stay blessed.”
We have reached out to representatives for Childish Gambino and Jase Harley for comment and will continue to update this developing story. In the meantime, sound off in the comments below.
In other news, SZA won a BET Award for Best New Artist. Peep her acceptance speech right here.