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A Nigerian Rapper Covered 'This Is America' and It's Brilliant

Nigerian rapper Falz, born Folarin Falana, caused an international stir this weekend after releasing his own version of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” video.

Falz’s “This Is Nigeria,” much like Childish Gambino’s original, is laden with symbolism and cultural references, and acts as both a searing political critique and social commentary.

Where “This Is America” spotlights racism, gun violence, and police brutality in the US, Falz, the son of prominent lawyer and human rights activist Femi Falana, highlights various abuses of the Nigerian people at the hands of both the government and citizens, including police brutality, in his cover. 

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"This is Nigeria, no electricity daily-o, your people are still working multiple jobs yet they talk say we lazy-o," Falz raps in the video, referring to comments made by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at a Commonwealth event in London last month in which Buhari implied his country’s young people are lazy.

From rampant corruption among government officials and law enforcement — including the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which Amnesty International has accused of violating human rights — to the terrorist group Boko Haram’s attacks on school girls, Falz powerfully points to a need for change.

Read more: Nigeria’s Army Just Rescued 1,000 Hostages From Boko Haram’s Grasp

"The primary motivation [for making the cover] was to trigger an awakening among the Nigerian people about the numerous political and social ills that we constantly face as a country,” Falz told CNN via email. “And more importantly to spark a reaction in the positive direction," he wrote.

And while other attempts to cover Childish Gambino’s song and provocative video have fallen flat, people online, including producer and rapper Diddy, are praising Falz for using his artistic platform as a tool for political activism.

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