Childish Gambino collaborator denies stealing song

Warning: Explicit language and graphic imagery

A collaborator who works with Childish Gambino said the rapper did not plagiarize his hit song “This Is America” from another artist.

Childish Gambino, also known as actor Donald Glover, was accused of ripping off his hit song from New York-based rapper Jase Harley’s 2016 track “American Pharaoh.” A thread on Reddit compared the two songs, stating the “instrumental is quite similar and the subject matter, inflection and flow is uncannily similar.”

However, Fam Rothstein, of Wolf + Rothstein, a creative agency who helped co-produce Glover’s “This Is America” music video, said the allegations were false and the song has been in production for three years.

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“The internet is a place of no consequences. I hate that Toronto Akademiks/every white blogger [a music pundit on social media] can say something as gospel and y’all take it. This song is 3 years old, and we have Pro Tools files to prove it,” he tweeted.

Harley addressed the allegations on Instagram, saying he felt his song “inspired” Glover’s hit track.

“It’s cool tho…. Glad they liked my song. It’s all love,” Harley wrote.

The rapper said he wished he could have gotten a “shout out” but was glad he had “some influence on the record.”

Harley continued to address the allegations on Instagram, adding that he was “humbled to be recognized.”

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“I feel extremely humbled to be recognized and labeled as one of the original inspirations for one of the most important pieces of music and visual art of our time,” he wrote. “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!”

Glover has not immediately commented on the plagiarism claims.


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