Childish Gambino is facing a lawsuit over his hit “This Is America.”
Emelike Nwosuocha, a rapper who goes by the name Kidd Wes, is suing Gambino, claiming he ripped off his song, “Made in America.”
According to TMZ, Kidd Wes uploaded his track to SoundCloud in September 2016 and released it on YouTube a couple months later, where it was available to stream for free. He claims that he also registered the song with the U.S Copyright Office in May 2017, and it was set to be the lead single on his upcoming album.
Gambino’s “This Is America” was released in May 2018. It went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 and win a Grammy for Record of the Year.
In his suit, Kidd Wes claims the chorus of “This Is America” is “unmistakably substantially similar, if not practically identical” to his song. He also says that Gambino’s “flow” is similar to his, citing lyrics in “Made in America” that are reminiscent of the hook’s refrain on “This Is America.”
“Made in America / Flex on the radio / Made me a terrorist / Pessimistic n***as / You should just cherish this,” raps Kidd Wes.
Gambino’s chorus includes the lyrics, “This is America / Guns in my area / I got the strap / I gotta carry ’em.”
Kidd Wes believes he was intentionally ripped off, and is seeking major damages. He is suing Gambino, the co-writers of “This Is America,” and Roc Nation Publishing, as well as Young Thug, who sings backup vocals.