Childish Gambino Collaborator Denies “This Is America” Plagiarism Allegations

Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino, March 2018 (John Shearer/Getty Images)

One of Donald Glover’s creative partner has denied claims that Glover “stole” the music for his No. 1 single “This Is America” from a March 2016 song called “American Pharaoh” by New York rapper Jase Harley. Fam Rothstein is a co-principal of the creative agency Wolf + Rothstein (which is comprised of himself, Donald Glover, and Wolf Taylor), and he also co-produced the music video for “This Is America.”

This morning, in response to a user who claimed that Glover “stole the song,” Rothstein tweeted: “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.” (The tweet has since been deleted.)

Allegations of plagiarism against Glover surfaced on Reddit this past weekend, with Redditors citing comments on Jase Harley’s Instagram. Someone wrote to Harley, “People are saying Donald Glover bit your song ‘American Pharoah’ with ‘This Is America.’ What do you think?” Harley responded, “I always felt my song inspired it lol from the first time I heard it.”

Harley added, “It’s cool tho…. Glad they liked my song. It’s all love.” He also wrote that “a shout out would be cool,” that it’s “dope [he] could’ve had some influence on the record,” and that “all artist get inspired by others.”

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SOURCE: Pitchfork – Matthew Strauss