Over the weekend, Donald Glover, who goes by the stage name Childish Gambino, released a new animated music video for his new song, “Feels Like Summer.” The video, which could not be more different than Glover’s last music video for “This is America,” features over 60 cameos of other rappers, celebrities and even some politicians. In classic Glover fashion, the artist made a real statement with this video, but one cameo stood out to people more than the rest.
Around the two-minute mark, Glover decided to depict an image of rapper Kanye West crying and wearing his infamous bright red Make America Great Again hat. After a second, someone who is assumed to be Michelle Obama appears to hug West, and his tears begin to dry up.
Although the video has been met with generally positive responses, the reactions to the exchange between the former First Lady and West specifically has been met with mixed reviews on Twitter.
Throughout the past year, West has received a torrent of backlash for his Twitter rants and his new friendship with President Donald Trump. In April, West went on a Twitter rampage vocalizing his opinions on Trump. Throughout this Twitter rant, he revealed that he owns and wears a signed MAGA hat. He also referred to Trump as his “brother” and made other statements concerning slavery.
You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don't agree with everything anyone does. That's what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 25, 2018
Naturally, West was at the receiving end to a huge amount of backlash for days, with celebrities like John Legend even texting him personally to encourage him to use his platform wisely. West has yet to clarify his exact statements or apologize for the comments he made months ago.
Many people feel as though the visualization of Obama comforting West feeds into the stereotype that black women are supposed to comfort or heal black men. As one Twitter user said, “Just so you know, it is not the job of Black women to heal or fix Black men. Black women do not exist to be other people’s mules.”
— Sojourner I am the Dragon breathing Fire Okoye (@LegalSojourner) September 2, 2018
On the other hand, some people interpret the scene as West needing a mother figure in his life. Some people believe that the figure in the video is actually West’s mother, Donna West, who passed away. Another Twitter user wrote, “I just thought it was a sweet image of Michelle Obama [a mother figure] hugging Kanye a broken man who has lost his mother and could use some wholesome motherly love.”
I didn't see this visual of Michelle Obama hugging Kanye West and instantly think that black women are savior, I just thought it was a sweet image of Michelle Obama [a mother figure] hugging Kanye a broken man who has lost his mother and could use some wholesome motherly love. pic.twitter.com/i3z7FPRaxc
— (June·Ya Boon·Ya) (@junyabunya) September 3, 2018
While Glover has not confirmed or denied either theory, either way, Glover has made his fair share of political statements this year. First, with his “This is America” video which highlights the racism and inequality in America, and now this video.
No matter what the true meaning behind the scene was, West should realize that his past actions and comments have not been forgotten, especially when Glover clap-backs using his own music video. Your move, Kanye.