Though our forever First Lady Michelle Obama is one of black America’s most beloved mamas, an animated depiction of her bear hugging a crying Kanye West in Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer” music video is a bit much for some.
Earlier this summer, Childish Gambino dropped a Summer Pack featuring two new wavy songs — "Feels Like Summer" and "Summertime Magic." As the season comes to an end, Gambino finally dropped a visual for "Feels Like Summer," and while not as intense as the optics for his hit single "This Is America," it is not without powerful imagery to align with an eventful summer 2018.
The nearly five-minute animation features cartoon cameos of celebrities such as Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott, Drake and Future, The Migos, Outkast, and more. But the scene that’s been most buzzed about features a crying Kanye West in a "MAGA" hat. Behind him, Michelle Obama embraces him in a hug.
It’s left the Twitterverse asking: what is the meaning?
It's no secret that 'Ye went on a Trump supporting tangent earlier this year, causing many people to cancel him from their lives and music libraries. Consequently, the depiction has gathered criticism as folks are wondering if Gambino is suggesting it's black women's job to save the soul of a black man gone astray.
— Sojourner I am the Dragon breathing Fire Okoye (@LegalSojourner) September 2, 2018
childish gambino depicting michelle obama as like a savior for kanye is such bs lmao i’m tired of black women needing to “save” black men so they can come to their senses about who they are and the realities of the world we live in
— ugh (@wasteofdevotion) September 2, 2018
Another representation of Black Women standing with Black Men through their toughest times… & still be able to build them up #FeelsLikeSummer
— Khadijah Segura (@KhadijahSegura7) September 2, 2018
Others believe the scene suggests West simply needs a gentle reminder of where he came from.
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
People are mad that gambinos video shows Michelle Obama hugging Kanye and they’re taking it to mean it’s black womens job to heal black men and not that Kanye could use a motherly figure in his life since he’s clearly still pretty upset after the loss of his mother
— Lil Cutie Vert (@DarioColon1) September 2, 2018
I think everyone is misinterpreting that Childish Gambino music video with the image of Kanye crying with Michelle Obama hugging him smh
— #IWontExplain (@_DesPain_) September 3, 2018
"I want to take this moment right now to say I'm sorry for the one-two effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment," West said. "I'm sorry to people who felt let down by that moment. And also I appreciate you guys giving me the opportunity to talk to you about the way I was thinking and what I was going through. I just appreciate you guys holding on to me as a family. And one thing I got from the TMZ comment: I learned how much black people love me."
West went on to say that he believed those comments ultimately happened because he didn't have his original team behind him, but he is currently in the process of changing that. Perhaps that was what Gambino was trying to depict —Kanye needs his family. The death of his mother Donda West was a notoriously hard battle for West and a motherly figure is what he may need in his corner.
Maybe it's neither of those things. Others have theories that differ from both of those concepts.
The Michelle Obama/Kanye West hug from the #FeelsLikeSummer video is nearly identical to her hug with George W Bush. @donaldglover is saying that Kanye, who once said "George Bush doesn't care about black people", has become the same person he once despised. pic.twitter.com/Ipp49GbmYf
— Noah Weisberg (@Noah_Weisberg) September 3, 2018
— WiFiSunset (@WiFiSunset) September 3, 2018
As Gambino has yet to comment on the specifics of the video, everything is simply speculation.
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