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Top 10 Moments From Childish Gambino's Feels Like Summer Video

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
When this multi-talented artist puts out something new, the world pays attention. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Moments From Childish Gambino's "Feels Like Summer" Video. 

 For this list, we’re looking at the most noteworthy cameos, interesting moments and hidden messages in this animated music video.

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h4>Top 10 Moments from Childish Gambino's "Feels Like Summer" Video 

When this multi-talented artist puts out something new, the world pays attention. Welcome to, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Moments From Childish Gambino's "Feels Like Summer" Video.

For this list, we’re looking at the most noteworthy cameos, interesting moments and hidden messages in this animated music video.

#10: Lil Uzi Vert and Zendaya Getting Braided by Tiffany Haddish and Oprah

Honestly, we’re not going to even pretend to have all the answers about this video. Like “This Is America” before it, “Feels Like Summer” is a nuanced piece of visual art, jam-packed with powerful imagery and a whole lot of room for interpretation. With that being said, seeing two powerful women of color from two generations, Tiffany Haddish and Oprah Winfrey, braiding the hair of Lil Uzi Vert and Zendaya... is almost too good. This moment creates a sense of community across the spectrum of celebrity, touching on television, comedy, film and music. The link? These figures are all breaking down barriers. Sidenote: there’s some debate as to whether that’s Kehlani, not Zendaya.

#9: A Dejected Kid Cudi

When this Cleveland rapper first broke onto the scene, quickly being taken under the wing of Kanye West as his prodigy of sorts, he quickly established himself as one of the most unique and inspiring new voices in hip hop. In the years following the release of his debut studio album, “Man on the Moon: The End of Day”, he’s been through a well-documented and public battle with depression and substance abuse. Considering the tough journey Cudi has been on, it seems fitting that his animated counterpart’s quick cameo shows him standing in the darkness, visibly upset. There’s comfort however, in Childish accompanying lyrics of “Oh, I know you know that pain”, suggesting that he too has struggled.  

#8: An Homage to XXXTentacion

This is one of the brief scenes that likely went over the heads of many viewers the first time they watched the video. Alongside numerous instantly recognizable rappers and other public figures, Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum isn’t exactly a household name (yet, anyway)  nor does an association with ice cream immediately come to mind. Eagle-eyed Internet sleuths however, have noticed that the distinct color combination of the ice cream looks a lot like the late rapper XXXTentacion’s trademark hairstyle, and given that XXX hailed from the state of Florida, that makes sense. And as race relations are an ongoing issue Florida, melting white-black ice cream represents that divide.

#7: 2 Chainz Taking a Pic of Pusha T, Lil Wayne and Meek Mill

Talk about a photo op! But what does it all mean? Pusha T and Lil Wayne have a history of feuding with one another. Should we take this to be Meek Mill acting as an agent of peace, bringing people together, in the wake of becoming a symbol of criminal justice reform after his release from prison? Considering his previous collaboration with 2 Chainz, the duo could be seen as emissaries of peace and unity - at least in the world Gambino is creating. Or is it just a cool grouping of hip hop stars?

#6: Beyoncé Honoring Fredo Santana

No all-star lineup of modern African-American music icons would be remotely complete without an appearance by Queen Bey herself. Beyoncé steals the spotlight in just about any outfit, but for her animated cameo in this video, she’s outfitted in a loose-fitting crop top adorned with the words “R.I.P. Fredo Santana”. Santana was a Chicago rapper, and also a cousin of Chief Keef. He died in 2018 from a fatal seizure likely related to excessive consumption of cough syrup, aka lean. Though Beyoncé and Fredo aren’t known to have worked together, Beyoncé is universally acknowledged as an icon in the music industry, and so it makes sense that she would mourn the loss of a young creator.

#5: Will Smith Washing His Car

Redditors and other sleuths quickly identified a sly reference in Gambino’s summer jam to the 1991 track, “Summertime” by Dj Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, in which Smith delivers the line "you just finished wiping your car down”. Perhaps this reference harks back to a simpler time in the actor/musician’s career, when he was still more connected to hip hop, the video gives us a quick shot of Smith washing his own car - something we doubt he does himself these days, especially not in an undershirt, socks and sandals. And how time flies, Smith’s kids Willow and Jaden also make cameos in the vid.

#4: J. Cole Getting Soaked by Rae Sremmurd

J. Cole might be one of the most respected rappers in the game, but he’s an outlier in more ways than one. Where so many in today’s hip hop industry have crafted eye-catching, bold, luxurious and vibrant visual styles for themselves, J. Cole has seemingly made a point of keeping his look simple and understated, and he has also expressed his distaste for a lot of the new generation’s music. Visually, but also in terms of sound, there are few musical acts that make the division between J. Cole’s generation and the one to follow more obvious than Rae Sremmurd, the fun-loving duo who are seen here spraying their elder, only to get hosed down.

#3: Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj Playing with Blocks

This one isn’t too hard to figure out. Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott are two BIG names in the industry, and both released 2018 albums within a week of each other. From Minaj’s perspective her album was a loud, proud and musically diverse statement that she was the reigning queen of rap. But Scott complicated that declaration by denying Minaj the #1 spot on the charts, ultimately claiming it for himself. They weren’t shy about publicly feuding, either. So, their appearance in the vid takes this squabble back to more of a childhood playground scope, “Feels Like Summer” shows Nicki having carefully constructed a tower of blocks, only to have Scott undo her hard work.

#2: Michelle Obama Comforts Kanye

This is one of the most compelling scenes in the entire video. Though it lasts a matter of seconds, it says SO much. Over the course of multiple American presidential administrations, Kanye West went from accusing President George W. Bush of not caring about black people, to voicing his support for, or at least a willingness to (figuratively) embrace, the divisive politics of President Donald Trump. By contrast, Michelle Obama has continued to be, well, the great Michelle Obama. As she hugs a weeping Kanye, it feels like a gesture of friendship and an invitation to rejoin the fight.

#1: The Moment You Realize This Song Isn’t a Celebration of Summer

Surprise! Turns out Childish Gambino is challenging us as viewers and listeners by providing compelling visuals in the foreground to distract us from the actual issue. In doing so, he is making a poignant commentary about the nature of pop culture and celebrity. Pay attention to the lyrics of this track and you’ll realize that this not exactly the feel-good jam it’s masquerading as, but fundamentally a lamentation about global warming, and the obvious signs that our planet is changing (quickly) for the worse. Notice how Glover’s character doesn’t engage with any of the action around him? He seems fixated on a different destination. Maybe he really is leaving the music industry behind.

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