Donald Glover Says Childish Gambino's "This Is America" Originally Started as a Drake Diss

Donald Glover’s popular 2018 Childish Gambino single “This Is America” originally started its life as "a joke" and a diss record directed at Drake.

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Donald Glover’s 2018 Childish Gambino single “This Is America” originally started its life as a diss record directed at Drake.

As part of his extensive GQ cover story, Glover spoke about the genesis behind the song and revealed it was an idea he had been working on three years before it came out. “I had the idea three years before. I told [director] Hiro [Murai] the idea, and he’s like, ‘I really want to do that.’… The idea for the song started as a joke,” the Swarm co-creator admitted in a video released alongside the GQ story.

“To be completely honest, ‘This is America’—that was all we had was that line. It started as a Drake diss, to be honest, as like a funny way of doing it. But then I was like, this shit sounds kind of hard though. So I was like, let me play with it.”

Childish Gambino says “This Is America” started as a Drake diss 👀

Elsewhere in the chat, he touched upon how he felt he “dodged a bullet” when his Saturday Night Live audition failed to get him on the cast. “I dodged so many bullets. Me being on SNL would’ve killed me,” he said. “I got friends who made it on SNL and, at the time, I was like, damn. But if I got on SNL, my career wouldn’t have happened. Thank God I didn’t get some of those pilots. I wanted so desperately to be on Parks and Rec because it was the cool, hipster show.”

Around the same time Glover released “This Is America” and its accompanying video, he hosted and served as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live

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