According to TMZ, Emelike Nwosuocha—who performs under the name Kidd Wes—has alleged that Gambino’s ubiquitous hit is a ripoff of his own song “Made in America,” which is said to have first been released on SoundCloud in late 2016. Wes, according to court documents cited in Thursday’s report, alleges the hook of Gambino’s song is “unmistakably substantially similar, if not practically identical” to his song.
Wes also pointed to the flow and lyrical elements of the two tracks, further alleging he was “intentionally ripped off.” The suit names Donald Glover, Young Thug, the track’s co-writers, Roc Nation, and the label.
Complex has reached out to reps for Gambino for comment.
Gambino’s co-manager Fam Udeorji previously addressed other attempted ripoff claims back in 2018 by providing a brief timeline of how “This Is America” came into fruition. Notably, the timeline of the track’s evolution doesn’t line up with claims of an alleged 2016-stemming ripoff.
Of particular note is that the origin of “This Is America,” per Fam, actually dates back to 2015. And Gambino’s team has the Pro Tools files to prove it.
“This song is 3 yrs old, and we have pro tools files to prove it,” Fam said in June 2018. “But fuck you and your moms, and your future fetuses. stay blessed.” Fam was speaking out at the time in response to allegations that Gambino’s song ripped off Jase Harley’s 2016 track “American Pharaoh,” with Harley later restating his claims after Gambino’s Grammys victories.
Immediately upon its release, “This Is America”—supported by a widely praised and meticulously dissected video from Atlanta director Hiro Murai—became an instaclassic in the Gambino catalog. The track debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has since been certified triple platinum by the RIAA.