Throughout Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” run, it was unimaginable that it could possibly get any bad press. But on Sunday (24 June), Twitter went bezerk when speculation that Donald Glover stole the song from rapper Jase Harley began circulating. The speculation is around the song “American Pharaoh” which shares similar traits to Gambino’s smash hit.
Fam Rothstein, a member of Donald Glover's management team, Wolf + Rothstein took full exception to the accusation and responded to the below tweet by flatly denying it.
“The Internet is a place of no consequences. I hate that Toronto Akademiks/every white blogger can say something as gospel and y'all take it,” he wrote in a since deleted tweet. “This song is 3 yrs old, and we have pro tools files to prove it. But fuck you and your moms, and your future fetuses. Stay blessed.”
It’s not too difficult to see why anyone would regret tweeting something like that to the point of deleting said tweet.
You can listen to “American Pharaoh” and revisit “This Is America” below to decide for yourself.
Though Jase Harley hasn’t directly responded to the drama, he’s been hanging out in the comments section of an Instagram post of his and interacting with fans on the topic. "I always felt my song inspired it lol from the first time I heard it," he told a fan before going on to say to another, "Artists being thirsty for bread is why ppl don’t wanna credit anyone for inspiration. It’s all love and support from me, glad if my record influenced his."
Rifumo Mdaka is a Johannesburg-based music writer who champions South African queer artists. When I’m bored, I watch iPhone keynotes and commercials. Read my website FDBQ Music and follow me on Twitter, @rifvmo