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One of Donald Glover’s creative partners 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.” Find his tweet below.
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.”
originally posted by: SocratesJohnson
America is a racist country, stealing from a black man, so another can make money, is so Trump's Amer...what...Donald Glover is black and that makes it not racist....I am so confused
“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.” Find Harley’s Instagram post below.
originally posted by: karmicecstasy
a reply to: seaswine
But it is not near identical. It is nowhere near beat for beat the same. It is in that nebulous grey zone. In the Homage, inspired by, fair use zone. I am sure lawyers would love to argue over it. But the owner of American Pharaoh does not care. If he don't care. I don't care anymore either lol.
originally posted by: burdman30ott6
Both songs coming in from the right side, wearing white jerseys...
They don't sound any more similar to me than any of a number of modern generic off-beat pop songs do, but that's probably because I don't particularly care for this style of music. Once the beat drops on "This is Ameroca," it's a little bit more listenable, but that cacaphony of noise with the choir singing makes the overall song painful to listen to.