Childish Gambino sued for alleged copyright infringement of This Is America

Childish Gambino sued for alleged copyright infringement of This Is America

Childish Gambino is being sued for alleged copyright infringement, with rapper Kidd Wes claiming the Grammy-winning hit This Is America was taken from him.

According to US Federal Court documents, Emelike Nwosuocha claims that the 2018 song by Donald Glover, whose alter ego is Childish Gambino, is “obviously similar” to a song he posted two years earlier on Soundcloud.

The New York lawsuit cites “almost identical unique rhythmic, lyrical and thematic compositional and performance content contained in the choir sections – or ‘hook’ – which are the centerpieces of both songs.”

This Is America in 2019 became the first rap song to win the Grammys for Best Song and Best Record. The song is filled with social commentary and juxtaposes a fast-paced rhythm, layered with church hymns and Afrobeats, with a heavier, more ominous bassline.

Nwosuocha says that the flow of his song and that of Gambino are “undeniably noticeably similar, if not practically identical”.

He cited a musicologist he employed to compare the two tracks, who said that “the similarities in the melodic outline, the flow of rhythmic triplets in each performance, and the Made in America and This is America lines are probably not coincidences ”.

Nwosuocha is seeking a lawsuit and damages, including for lost profits and opportunities.

Among the defendants named in the complaint are Gambino’s RCA label, as well as Roc Nation and rapper Young Thug, credited as a writer and singer.

Gambino has not publicly responded to the allegations.

In 2018, a blogger wrote about a similarity between This Is America and a track by rapper Jase Harley called American Pharaoh.

Harley declined to take legal action, with Gambino’s manager dismissing the plagiarism allegations, saying computer files from 2015 proved Gambino’s song was original.


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