11 Childish Gambino 'Feels Like Summer' Hidden Messages You Definitely Missed The First Time

3 September 2018, 20:58

Feels Like Summer
Picture: [Merlin] Liberation Music, SME (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

Childish Gambino released his visuals for 'Feels Like Summer'. The video contains countless references and cameos. Here are just a few you may have missed the first time around.

Childish Gambino unveiled visuals for "Feels Like Summer" from his Summer Pack EP over the weekend. The prolific actor, director, producer, and musician debuted the video which features dozens of "cameos" and references to figures in black music and entertainment.

Donald Glover worked with visual artist Justin Richburg on the animated feature. If you expected any hand-holding from Donald regarding the various references, you should know by now that he famously does not explain the meaning behind his recent videos.

That, however, has not stopped the internet from attempting to decode the hidden references, cameos, and meanings in Childish Gambino's "Feels Like Summer".

1) What does Donald's character represent in 'Feels Like Summer'?

In the video, Donald is very much an observer. No matter what is going on, his character never slows down, stops walking, or engages with the different vignettes taking place around him.

Despite the various shenanigans happening on either side of the street, Donald observes the scenes with disinterest. This could be referencing Donald Glover's tendency to avoid weighing in on dramas and controversies in the industry.

Donald Glover is also reportedly stepping away from music. Him moving through the video in this way could also be seen as Donald acknowledging that he's headed somewhere different to his contemporaries. In the end of the video we see him walk through a door, presumably while his peers continue with their antics.

Donald Glover Feels like summer screencap
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

2) Travis Scott toppling Nicki Minaj's carefully built tower of blocks.

Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj publicly tousled over their chart positions earlier in August. While Nicki planned to nab the number 1 spot with her album Queen, Travis Scott denied her the top position with Astroworld.

The pettiness of their beef is represented by the blocks, which are traditionally children's toys. Their "childish" midsummer feud has now been immortalized in the "Feels Like Summer" video.

Feels like summer screencap
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

3) Azealia Banks up in a tree.

Azealia Banks appears to have found a very shady spot in the tree.

Feels like summer screencap
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

Azealia seemed to acknowledge the cameo, sharing an photo of her and Donald Glover on Instagram stories with the caption "Awwwwwwwwww".

4) Migos playing basketball

This is probably a reference to Quavo's well-documented basketball skills. Quavo competed in 2018's NBA All-Star Celebrity game, even earning MVP plaudits for his impressive showing.

Feels like summer screencap
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

5) Will Smith hosing down a car

Clever redditors have clocked that in Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff's 1991 hit single "Summertime", Will Smith raps the lyrics "you just finished wiping your car down". Here we have Will Smith wiping his car down.

Feels Like Summer
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

6) Sad Kid Cudi

"Oh, I know you know the pain" is the lyric that Childish Gambino sings when the image of Kid Cudi comes up. Kid Cudi has been open in recent years about his struggle with depression.

In 2016, Kid Cudi penned an open letter to fans on Facebook, writing, "I am not at peace. I haven't been since you've known me."

Feels like summer screencap
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

7) Michelle Obama hugging a crying Kanye

The image of Kanye "Make America Great Again" West being embraced by Michelle Obama is already inspiring fierce debate online. Earlier this year, Kanye expressed support for Donald Trump, even suggesting in an interview with TMZ that 400 years of slavery sounded like "a choice".

In late August, Kanye got emotional on WGCI radio in Chicago, further explaining and apologising for his comments. Where Michelle Obama comes in, we'll probably never know.

Feels like summer screencap
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

8) RIP Fredo Santana

Beyonce's shirt in the video reads "rip Fredo Santana". Fredo Santana was a rapper who died earlier this year. Fredo's cousin, Chief Keef mourned him after his death, writing "love you dude for ever. It was good to be able to hug you."

Feels like summer screencap
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

9) Oprah and Tiffany Haddish braiding Lil Uzi Vert and Zendaya's hair

This slightly absurd juxtaposition of well-liked black talent is a little more abstract but this screenshot 100% belongs in the Smithsonian.

Feels Like Summer
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

10) J Cole being splashed by Rae Sremmurd

Some online have speculated that the visual of Rae Sremmurd splashing J Cole and being splashed back is meant to signify the clear division between the older and newer generation of rappers.

J Cole
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)

11) This is literally a song about climate change and global warming and we're out here playing spot the celeb.

"Every day gets hotter than the one before
Running out of water, it's about to go down
Go down
Air that kill the bees that we depend upon
Birds were made for singing, waking' up to no sound.
No sound"

As was the case with 'This Is America', Childish Gambino plays on the ways we are distracted by celebrity and popular culture. So much so that we are listening to a song that references bees dying because of climate change but totally focused on Oprah braiding Lil Uzi Vert's hair.

Well, damn.

Feels like summer
Picture: SME, [Merlin] Liberation Music (on behalf of Wolf+Rothstein/RCA Records)