Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer” animated video is basically a who’s who Black America through the figurative lens popular culture. A host animated characters based on the real life Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Future, Trippie Redd and Lil Pump frolicking around the neighbourhood, usually in pairs two. The one animated couplet that has people talking in “Feels Like Summer,” is the vignette in which Michelle Obama comes into contact with Kanye West, seen wearing his symbolic MAGA headwear at the 2 minute mark. The symbolism is quite evocative if not kind self-evident.
A teary-eyed Kanye West stands before a projected screen when lo and behold, Michelle Obama representing “centre-left politics,” comes from behind to caress the forlorn character and wash away his tears. Twitter users had not but many reactions to the Childish’s “strong-arm” tactic.
These two Twitter users represent a frustrated appeal against “Emotional Labor,” voiced by many woman on the platform who saw themselves in the Obama character depiction. The displeasure in seeing Michelle Obama depicted as yet another “black woman needing to ‘save’ black men so they can come to their senses,” as @wastedevotion said among the many Tweets the day.
In this economy “perspective taking,” there always another, and yet another avenue to explore. This Twitter user based their observation f the framework the initial conversation on “emotional labor,” his opinion being that Childish Gambino was more likely passing commentary on Kanye West’s psychological need for a “maternal figure” in his life following the passing his mother Donda.
The final contingent responders were simply there to criticize the first group who viewed the Kanye-Michelle angle through an intersectional lens, their response to that: “it’s just a cartoon.”
Something tells me Childish Gambino knowingly enjoys playing provocateur.