Over the weekend, social media users pointed out similarities between "This Is America" and a track titled "American Pharoah" from New Jersey rapper Jase Harley, alleging the former lifts elements including vocal cadence, subject matter and instrumentation from the latter.
Harley's "American Pharoah" saw release in 2016 on his album Free Pxrn: The Memoir of an American Heathen.
This will largely be overlooked but it sounds like same damn song and this was released a few years prior.— Baby Freeway 🇧🇷🇳🇬 (@RappersRActors) June 24, 2018
Has this been discussed? https://t.co/kqTSH4fTrv
They sound an awful lot alike... pic.twitter.com/1HOKFfJsxW— Trouble 🍍 (@LongDonnSilver) June 24, 2018
Harley himself weighed in on the controversy, writing on Instagram that he "always felt my song inspired ['This Is America'] lol from the first time I heard it," adding, "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 🙏🏾"
Gambino's "This is America" turns out to sound oddly like "American Pharaoh" by Jase Harley.— Kristi (@CinderSlays) June 25, 2018
Glover collaborator Fam Rothstein, who co-produced the video for "This Is America," denied the allegations on Twitter. He wrote that "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. this song is 3 yrs old, and we have pro tools files to prove it."
Yeah he's talked about it a bit on IG and doesn't seem upset...but also doesn't seem to have gotten the bag either pic.twitter.com/oMFqPKgIt4— Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) June 25, 2018
Hear both tracks for yourself in the players below.
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. 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. https://t.co/z7AyyWgrOz— Fam Rothstein (@famlikefamily) June 25, 2018
Childish Gambino's previous album Awaken, My Love! is available through Umusic on CD, vinyl, or in a VR vinyl box set.