Plenty of people were happy to see Childish Gambino's "This Is America" become the first rap song to take home the Song of the Year and Record of the Year at this year's Grammys Grammys. Jase Hartley is not among them. The musician has been claiming since last summer that Gambino lifted "This Is America," and he's hot under the collar about Donald Glover & Co.'s recoginition.
"I feel like it's a loss for the culture," he told TMZ in the clip above. "What is it saying that the Academy is recognizing something that is not original? It's not even acknowledging where it came from."
Hartley wasn't anywhere near done, coming in with a strong contender for the 2019 SMH Awards, whenever such a show inevitably comes together.
"It's almost like the house slave heard the chants from the field," he said. "He took that song with him and sung it back to the house. And instead of trying to liberate the people in the field, he got a bigger room in the house."
Given the nature of "This Is America" and the messages it was trying to present regarding race relations in the U.S., the analogy is particularly striking.
Gambino hasn't responded to Hartley's claims of plagiarism, but his manager Fam Udeorji laid the debate to rest by telling people that "This Is America" predates the release of Hartley's "American Pharoah."
"This song is 3 yrs old, and we have Pro Tools files to prove it," he wrote. "But fuck you and your moms, and your future fetuses. Stay blessed."
Given the fact that Hartley's song isn't that close to "This Is America," the heat from Fam's tweets feels justified. It remains to be seen if he'll scorch the Earth in response to Hartley's latest take.