Childish Gambino won Record of the Year at the Grammys on Sunday for “This Is America,” marking the first time a hip-hop song has received the honor.
Without Gambino physically present, producer Ludwig Göransson dedicated the award to him and shouted out by name 21 Savage, BlocBoy JB, Slim Jxmmi, and Young Thug as the features on the song. He also praised the song’s impact as a piece of social commentary applicable to America as well as the rest of the world. “It calls out injustice, celebrates life, and unites us all at the same time,” said Göransson. This award capped off a historic night for Gambino as “This Is America” swept every award it was nominated for en route to making him the first hip-hop artist to not only win Song of the Year, but also the first to win Record of the Year.
The track itself tackles issues of police brutality and gun violence, emphasized by the song’s enigmatic music video, which was made to look as if it was done in one shot. With super brief, ad-libbed features including Slim Jxmmi, BlocBoy JB, Young Thug, and 21 Savage, the record takes a pointed snapshot of black America and forces it into the spotlight.
Gambino beat out fellow nominees Brandi Carlile, Drake, Cardi B, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, Kendrick Lamar and SZA, Post Malone, and Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey.
Check out the full list of winners at the 2019 Grammy Awards.