Childish Gambino Unleashes Powerful Poem About Being A “White Rapper”

Recent visitor Childish Gambino has taken to Twitter to share a poem in which he reflects on his being labelled a “white rapper.” The moving poem comes amid continuing unrest in the US town of Ferguson, Missouri, following the tragic shooting of 18-year-old local resident Michael Brown.

After tweeting the poem piece-by-piece, the rapper, real name Donald Glover, explained to his followers that he “wasn’t under any influence last night” and was instead reflecting “after hearing a friend sobbing” and after a conversation with his mother, which led him to write the piece.

“I’ve been threatened by police twice this year, hand on holster,” added Glover, insisting he is still subject to scrutiny by nearby police officers despite his fame and success. “So when someone calls me a ‘white rapper’, I wanna make sure they understand I don’t have all the benefits,” he explained.

The poem sees Glover taking on the voice of a superstar white rapper and listing the “benefits” that would come with such a status. “I wanna be so white I’m the biggest rapper of all time / I wanna be so white I can have a number one song with cursing and parents are fine with it,” it reads.

Readers can view the whole poem, which Glover titled Childish Gambino Is a White Rapper, below. Glover subsequently took aim at “Twitter activism,” which he called “wack” as well as suggesting that “marches don’t work anymore” and “police should be forced to wear recording devices.”

After some of Glover’s followers pointed out that Twitter is being used to provide updates on the situation in Ferguson and has been used to affect tangible social change, he clarified, “Twitter isn’t wack. Activism isn’t wack. Twitter activism is wack to me. It’s only half of activism.”

Though he remained adamant, “This is not an apology… I honestly don’t give two fucks if you hate me. None of this was ever about me. And I hope you understand that.” Several other rappers have commented on the Brown shooting, including J Cole, who released the song Be Free as a tribute.

Listen: J Cole – Be Free

Gallery: Childish Gambino – Sydney, Hordern Pavilion 27/07/14

Photos by Liam Cameron

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