If you listen closely to Childish Gambino’s newly released single “This Is America,” you’ll realize it wasn’t exactly a solo effort. Though Gambino handles every verse within the politically charged track, the song is also peppered with ad-libs from a handful of other rappers. Some fans were convinced they could hear the voices of Kendrick Lamar, Vic Mensa, Chance the Rapper, and even Kanye West; however, Tidal’s liner notes confirm that the only other artists to contribute to “This Is America” were Young Thug, 21 Savage, Quavo, Slim Jxmmi, and, unsurprisingly, BlocBoy JB. (The Memphis MC’s now-viral “Shoot” dance was performed in the record’s surreal music video.)
After a revisiting the record a few times, we’ve pinpointed some of the lines in which Gambino is assisted. The most obvious ad-libs come from Thugger, who also delivers the single’s outro. You can hear him in the chorus, delivering “woo’s” and “ay’s,” as well as at the 2:43 mark, where he says: “America, I just checked my following list […] You motherfuckers owe me.”
BlocBoy can be heard in the first verse, saying “word” at the 1:16 mark; 21 jumps in several lines later, delivering “straight up” (1:35) right before the refrain.
Jxmmi’s throws in a few “yeah, yeah’s” (2:02), while Quavo offers the occasional “blaow” (2:40).
Most of these ad-libs are subtle, and can be missed during the first, second, or third listen.
You can check out the full “This Is America” track on Apple Music/iTunes, as well as the song’s official music video below.