Blinds open, letting the sun in as an animated Childish Gambino, earbuds in his ears, walks down the street of his surburban neighborhood. Two teenaged boys run past him and press their hands on 21 Savage’s car window. 21 Savage shoos him as Metro Boomin’ smokes next to him. They knock on Kodak Black’s door. Kodak Black shakes his head.
Quavo dribbles a basketball as Offset guards him. Quavo misses a three-pointer while Takeoff waits for the rebound. Gambino kicks the basketball back to Migos. He walks through a wave of smoke from Birdman’s grill. Chance the Rapper smiles as Jaden Smith, wearing a cape, flies onto the lawn. He watches as Will Smith washes his car across the street and sees Azealia Banks dangling her feet while sitting in the tree.
On the front lawn, Nicki Minaj places the last block on the house. Travis Scott pulls a block from the bottom and grins. Minaj glares at him. To the left, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and Ty Dolla $ign pull with all their strength in a game of Tug of War between Solange, Willow Smith and A$AP Rocky. Soulja Boy sits cross-legged on the grass, talking with Lil Pump and Trippie Redd. Future, riding a bicycle, waves at Drake, shakes his fist as he chases after him. Drake bends over, catching his breath.
Gambino pauses and closes his eyes. Against a black background, Kid Cudi stares at the floor. Kanye West, wearing a Make America Great Again hat, cries. Michelle Obama hugs him. Beyoncé, eyes closed, wears a R.I.P. Fredo Santana t-shirt. Andrew Gillum sits on a park bench and sets his cup of ice cream beside him. The ice cream melts.
Gambino opens his eyes and turns his head to the right. On the front porch, Oprah Winfrey braids Lil Uzi Vert’s hair. Tiffany Haddish sticks her out her tongue while Kehlani braids her hair. Charlamagne and Lil Yachty eat popsicles. To the left, Gucci Mane sleeps on a blanket while Dr. Dre, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z and Wiz Khalifa dance.
Young Thug and the Ball Brothers sit on the porch, playing on their phones. 2 Chainz snaps a picture of Meek Mill, Lil Wayne and Pusha T on his phone. Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee (as children) run with their Super Soakers towards J Cole. J Cole turns his hose on them.
SZA and Janelle Monáe ride their skateboards past Gambino. He pauses and closes his eyes again. Against a black background, Chris Brown cries. Big Boi and Andre 3000 (Outkast) stand back-to-back. Rihanna sits cross-legged. Whitney Houston, wearing a denim jacket and jeans, stands with her eyes closed. Michael Jackson, with an Afro, opens his eyes and smiles. Gambino walks inside his home.
Childish Gambino takes his daily walk through the neighborhood. During the summer, there has been bickering nonstop from some of his peers. Drake avoids Meek Mill and Pusha T. Pusha T gives the finger to Lil Wayne. Lil Wayne complains about Birdman’s barbecues. Nicki Minaj has been pointing to Travis Scott, saying he hasn’t been playing fair.
With Labor Day approaching, a truce seems to have occurred as family and friends come over to visit. The Smith family has decided to stay out of it. Soulja Boy has become a mentor to the teens, providing his guidance whenever possible. J Cole disciplines the young ones, still growing up in the limelight (Rae Sremmurd).
SZA and Janelle Monáe hang out by themselves. They’ll pop by to talk to Kehlani and Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey offers them to stay over for dinner and exclaims she’s proud of them. Tiffany Haddish monopolizes Monáe with endless questions about films. Kehlani tells Haddish to settle down.
Gambino thinks of his neighbors who had to leave due to their mental issues and hopes they are getting the help they need. He believes they will be welcomed back into the community. He misses Rihanna but understands her reasons for not wanting to return. He thinks of the ones who never got the chance to say goodbye. During barbecues, everyone often shares their favorite stories about Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Gambino wishes he would’ve had a chance to meet them.
Directors: Donald Glover (Childish Gambino), Ivan Dixon and Greg Sharp Year: 2018