Two weeks since its release, “This is America” by Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) is a bona fide hit, debuting at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (a first for Gambino) and holding on to the top spot in week two. But how will the Grammys respond to it? The recording academy won’t had out prizes until 2019, but the eligibility period (October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018) is more than halfway over. And when we polled our readers most of them (54%) said the song “should win Record of the Year.” Scroll down to the bottom of this post for our complete poll results.
Gambino did better than expected in this year’s Grammy nominations, earning surprise bids for Record of the Year (“Redbone”) and Album of the Year (“Awaken, My Love”). He ended up winning Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Redbone,” which was the first Grammy of his career.
But does a song like “This is America” stand a chance for Record of the Year? The academy has been notoriously stingy to rap and hip-hop hits in the past: none has ever won Record of the Year or Song of the Year. But Gambino could be an exception to that rule since he’s enjoying a honeymoon period in Hollywood.
He won two Emmys in 2017 for “Atlanta”: Best Comedy Actor and Best Comedy Directing. He was only the second black actor ever to win that acting prize (following Robert Guillaume for “Benson” in 1985) and the first black winner ever for comedy directing. And he hasn’t slowed down in 2018. In addition to the success of “This is America,” he also hosted and performed on “Saturday Night Live,” aired a second critically acclaimed season of “Atlanta,” and opened on the big screen as Lando Calrissian in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
What do you think about his Grammy chances in 2019? Check out some of our forum posters’ comments below, see our poll results, and then join the discussion on this and more with your fellow music fans in our forums.
Colin Davis: “The video is pretty amazing and similar in style to ‘Atlanta’ and was directed by Hiro Murai who directs a lot of ‘Atlanta.’ The song itself doesn’t scream mainstream hit, but it’s really cool.”
circa 1993: “As of now, I’m predicting a Music Video nomination at the Grammys.”
Atypical: “This is a [Record of the Year] nominee.”
Gucci: “Honey, I just watched the ‘This Is America’ video. Childish Gambino deserves to win Best Music Video.”
TheZeitergeist3: “This song is super overrated. It has a good message about important social issues, but the song isn’t all that great.”
Miguel Terel Kabigting: “[Record of the Year] is going to be between ‘This is America,’ ‘No Tears Left To Cry’ [by Ariana Grande] and ‘Finesse’ [by Bruno Mars and Cardi B].”