Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” Remains Relevant In A Divided America

Childish Gambino’s “Redbone” Remains Relevant In A Divided America

How the modern Renaissance man became the face of a cultural revolution.

In an alleged “post-racial” America, music continues to be a uniting factor. The influence of music is more powerful than ever, and many artists are taking note and letting their opinions be heard.

Not even two weeks after the most divisive election in American history, Donald Glover released Awaken, My Love, under his longtime pseudonym “Childish Gambino”. In an album where themes of social injustice and racial tensions dominate throughout, Redbone, the lead single off the record, has proved itself to be relevant and important to many aspects of American culture including racism, complacency, and social infidelity. Now, a year after the record’s release, the topics and themes that Glover explores throughout Redbone have remained, and continue to remain relevant in a society that is consistently dominated by racial and domestic tension.

In today’s modern America, racial tensions are at an all-time high, and American urban society is the tensest it has been in decades. And while music has always been a constant escape from the darkness of the real world, for many, it can serve as a lens in which we can greatly analyze the current state of our society. Childish Gambino’s Redbone allows the listener to do just that, as the song portrays a post-racial America that still struggles to come to terms with the fact that racism is still a prevalent modern concept. Social infidelity is another concept that Glover explores thoroughly, not only on Redbone but on the entirety of Awaken, My Love. Throughout his music, Glover consistently shows prowess and social awareness on Redbone, solidifying it as the most socially aware song featured on not only this album but Glover’s entire discography.

Throughout the song, Glover reminds the listener to “stay woke”, a phrase that could define a movement in the sense that Glover is one of the many African-Americans preaching to others, begging for communities to “keep one eye open” when it comes to the unavoidable racial and social injustice that takes place across America each and every day. In addition to that, Glover consistently makes references to cultural and social standards within black communities, as he speaks of “peanut butter chocolate cake with kool-aid”, and how black people are constantly shadowed by stereotypes and cultural oversights. These adages and themes appear throughout Glover’s songs, and on Redbone, the connection between music and social structure springs to life.

It is evident that in a post-racial nation that clearly still struggles with racism, music proves to be a defining factor that can ultimately unite a divided America.

Glover has proven to be a great unifier across America, drawing a crowd of 150,000 at this year’s Governor’s Ball in New York City, as well as using his talents to create an Emmy-award winning television show, Atlanta, that tackles the same topics as his music, while conveying his message to an even broader audience. Glover has shown his incredible work ethic time and time again, and on Redbone, his brilliance shines through a matter of mind-blowing instrumentation, and lyrics that could make even the biggest skeptic open their eyes and awaken themselves to the injustices that take place across America each day.

Cover Image Credit: wikicommons

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.

I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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What's worth more than red roses?


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