Childish Gambino Ignites

Feels Like Summer Delivers a Vital Message

BY: Alex Hutchins

With less than two weeks until mother nature declares summer to be officially over, Childish Gambino’s latest single “Feels Like Summer” is an appropriate way to close out the warmer months and reflect on the insanity that ensued.

In addition to several references to certain celebrity scandals that took place over the last few months, namely Kanye West’s surprise endorsement of Donald Trump, Gambino’s video also touches on another hot topic that repeatedly gets put on the back burner in today’s world: global warming.

Much like his viral music video for his song “This Is America,” “Feels Like Summer” seems to be delivering a striking social commentary on how our collective society has become worryingly oblivious to the problems around us. In the case of this newest single, Gambino’s lyrics are quite clearly referencing the human-made degradation of our climate:

Every day gets hotter than the one before
Running out of water, it’s about to go down

However, this message might be missed if you focus solely on the star-studded animated cast of the video and the laid back pace of the song, possibly suggesting that our collective attention is focused on the wrong things. That, as a society, we’re often times more concerned with what’s going on in the lives of celebrities than the fact that in the near future we might not even be here to gawk at public figures if we don’t change the way we treat our planet.

Speaking of celebrities, the video features over 60 prominent artists and musicians including Drake, Whitney Houston, Kanye West, and literally dozens more. The animated representations of these figures were designed by visual artist Justin Richburg who raised eyebrows with his drawing Dice Game in February of this year for Black History Month. The choice to use his work was certainly not surprising given that Donald Glover happened to feature Richburg’s artwork for a split second in his critically-acclaimed television program Atlanta.

Whether you enjoy listening to a relaxing tune by one of this generation’s most talented artists across several different mediums, or if he’s simply not your taste, everyone should rally behind an artist trying to open our eyes to the toll that we have taken on this planet we all call home.