Gambino impresses again with new “Feels Like Summer” video

Recent Photograph of the highlighted artist Childish Gambino.

Childish Gambino recently released a music video for his single Feels Like Summer on the first day of September, which is ironically the first month of fall. Coming off the heels of his last music video, the brilliantly polarizing This Is America, Gambino once again delivers a stellar visual experience with his newest video.

Feels Like Summer was released as a part of Gambino’s Summer Pack EP on July 11th, 2018. The video focuses on an animated Gambino walking around a neighborhood filled with celebrity cameos. Fans had fun picking out the star-studded appearances in the video, from the Atlanta trio Migos playing a game of basketball to Nicki Minaj building a castle of blocks before rapper Travis Scott tears it down; alluding to the tirade Nicki Minaj went on in response to her album Queen being overshadowed by Scott’s Astroworld.

Travis Scott ruining Nicki Minaj’s album release; I mean, castle of blocks.

Possibly the most important shots in the video are the ones separate from the neighborhood background, with celebrities shrouded in black. One shot in particular is of Beyonce solemnly standing alone, wearing a shirt that says “R.I.P. Fredo Santana,” a well-known Chicago rapper who unfortunately passed away early this year. Legendary musical icons Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson also make appearances near the end of the video surrounded in black.

Beyonce standing somberly in darkness.

Perhaps the most eye-catching, and controversial, shot in the video is one of Kanye West, wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, referring to his previous political comments, with tears streaming down his face until Michelle Obama appears from the darkness to give the 41-year-old rapper a much needed hug. When asked about in an interview with The Fader about the potential significance of this moment, directors Greg Sharp and Ivan Dixon replied with “no comment!”

Picture of animated Kanye West in a MAGA hat being hugged by Michelle Obama.

While the directors of the video may have had nothing to say on the topic, plenty of other people were happy to give their takes on the shot- and not all of them were positive. A recent article by Refinery 29 aptly describes the controversy, writing that “many have interpreted the image as Glover suggesting West needs the support of a black woman to save or comfort or redeem him — rather than owning up to his divisive rhetoric and political outbursts, or taking responsibility for his own rehabilitation.” Meanwhile, others have embraced the imagery, going so far as to say they’ve been touched by Glover’s portrayal of Obama’s theoretical benevolence towards an internally divided West.

A few days after the release of the Feels Like Summer video, Adidas announced in a short clip, that Gambino, referred to instead by his real name Donald Glover, was signed to the brand using the same animation of the music video. After the success  of his hit show Atlanta FX, his role as Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the success of his new tour, 2018 appears to be Glover’s year for the taking, especially if he plans to follow up on 2016 LP Awaken, My Love!

Picture taken from the Adidas announcement video.