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Childish Gambino’s Manager Fights Back Against ‘This Is America’ Plagiarism Claims
Childish Gambino’s manager, Fam “Rothstein” Udeorji, has denied accusations that Donald Glover plagiarized his hit song “This Is America”. This weekend, a song called “American Pharaoh” by New York rapper Jase Harley began making the rounds on Twitter, with fans noting that the 2016 song sounded similar to Glover’s new track.
“The Internet is a place of no consequences. I hate that [blogger] Toronto Akademiks/every white blogger can say something gospel and y’all take it. this song is 3 yrs old, and we have the pro tool files to prove it,” Udeorji said of the highly acclaimed “This Is America,” which debuted No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 after being released May 7.
However, within hours of sharing his response, Udeorji deleted the tweet.
Some fans speculated whether the tweet removal was an admission of guilt.
Ooooohhhh @famlikefamily deleted his tweet defending Childish Gambino and This is America… Not a great look…
— Tyler Nunez (@TylerAmPress) June 25, 2018
The controversy began after a hip-hop blogger named “Akademiks” first called out the similarities between “This Is America,” released this year, and “American Pharaoh,” released in 2016, on Sunday night. (Akademiks’s tweet was a response to the BET Awards, where Gambino appeared with Jamie Foxx and did an impromptu performance of “This Is America” on the show).
Jamie Foxx talking about This Is America and we found out Donald Glover stole the song today qjajaldmaksmaksm
— Ahmed/Toronto Akademiks/Every White Blogger (@big_business_) June 25, 2018
The blogger wrote that he believed Gambino “stole” Harley’s song. Many people agreed the tracks sounded alike, even sharing mashups of both records.
Listen to this and tell me it doesn’t sound VERY SIMILAR to Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) – “This Is America”
This song is called “American Pharaoh” by Jase Harley and it came out in 2016. pic.twitter.com/Mn2HM0vlPP
— black boy bulletin. (@theblackboyblog) June 24, 2018
On Monday, Harley took to Instagram to respond to the backlash, and thank fans for the support — but advised them not to go against Gambino and his message.
“I feel extremely humbled to be recognized and labeled as one or the original inspirations for one of the most important pieces of music and visual art of our time,” he wrote. “I appreciate all the love and support! But PLEASE DON’T let this controversy dilute the message me and @childishgambino are trying to convey. We are speaking about injustices we’ve encountered and he’s helped to provide a platform for all our voices to be heard. Let’s not discredit him for that!”
Esquire.com reached out to Gambino’s reps for comment, but did not receive a response by publication. Harley also did not respond to requests for comment.