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What Is Childish Gambino ‘Redbone’ Lyrics Meaning, Black Lives Matter or Infidelity?


Childish Gambino – Redbone Lyrics Meaning

Let me be honest guys. I didn’t know Childish Gambino and Donald Glover are the same person. Oh, you recently found it out as well? Cool, welcome to the club. Today, we have a classic song from Mr. Donald Glover himself to dissect for you. It’s an amazing song that we all once fell in love with. Let’s learn the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘Redbone’ by Childish Gambino, only at Laviasco, and explain if the song is about the Black Lives Matter movement or infidelity.

Introduction: Redbone Lyrics

The song “Redbone” is around the topic of anxious thought patterns and cheating in a romantic affair. As a jargon word, according to the urban dictionary, “redbone” characterizes a lighter-skinned black individual of eclectic cultures. Childish Gambino stresses that his undertakings to protect this woman and keeping her pleased will steer her towards another direction.

Redbone Lyrics Meaning

Let’s dissect the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘Redbone’ by Childish Gambino section-wise, exclusively at Laviasco, and understand if the song is about the Black Lives Matter action or cheating.

[Verse 1]

We will dissect the lyrics in the first verse of ‘Redbone’ by Childish Gambino into two parts for exploring the deeper meaning of the song.

Part I

The first term from ‘Redbone’ lyrics is “daylight,” symbolizing both the inception of the song as well as the acknowledgment scrutinizing the likelihood of the singer’s lover’s cheating, as it has just “dawned” in his life. “Daylight” and “wake up” inaugurate the principle of remaining “woke”; as the musician awakens word-for-word, he is figuratively unfolding his sights to the certainty of his dilemma as well.

“Play” elicits a pictorial description of competition in a relationship, but the expression “you won’t play right” plainly lifts up, for the introductory part, that lyrics of ‘Redbone’ is pertaining to “cheating.” “I used to know” suggests, even though he formerly was certain of her devotion, her attitude is starting to imply otherwise. Or, it could signify that even though he formerly wasn’t interested in being devoted to her, presently that he senses something meaningful to her, he can’t epithet her cheating on him.

Part II

When you doubt that somebody you adore is disseminating their affection for you with somebody else, it can oftentimes jumble with your pride and dignity. You might not see yourself as outstanding to the individual as you originally did. To bring the issue even terrible, the woman he dedicated himself to compelled him to stay patient before winning her in the bed. Certainly, he wasn’t yet excited about this but stayed out of respect for her. This came out to be for triviality, as she was deluding him the entire moment.

The problems with romantic affairs stretch Childish Gambino’s discography, encompassing of the tracks such as “Heartbeat” and “Sober.” In his TV program, Atlanta, he fiddles the part of the lead star, Earn, who has an on-and-off connection with his wife. This is a remark, the lyrics in ‘Redbone’ is particularly dubious; in several of Childish Gambino’s additional tracks, you’ll discover him being particularly boastful of his charisma with girls. I reckon it’s prudent to assert she was occupied by “playing games with the Super Smash Brothers” while he quietly stayed to receive something from her.

[Pre-Chorus/ Outro]

Childish Gambino is asserting that the passion or sex thirsted in the lyrics for ‘Redbone’ is accessible to the subject of the appreciation exhibited. He could be talking to his romantic interest, or as the redbone conceding to him. These lyrics guide us into the chorus and outro, indicating that their scandalous romantic relationship will persuade undesirable scrutiny. Yet, the couple is ready to toss all warning signs to the storm and get along with it as a compromise.


“Stay woke” is jargon for “stay awake,” and motivates civil or political understanding. It earned mainstream favor when it was borrowed by the Black Lives Matter action during and after the 2014 Ferguson riots. There was a remarkable looping of the term ‘Stay Woke’ in this particular event from Donald Glover’s TV show Atlanta as well:

In the principle of the lyrics for ‘Redbone’, “stay woke” is a threat to remain attentive towards your spouse infidelity, and for his spouse to stay watchful against additional probable partners of himself. There is a sign that both spouses are moving out of touch in this affair. It is intriguing to point out, the term discretion of “sleeping” is a strong discrepancy from the repeat of “stay woke,” conforming to the topic of infidelity exhibited in the entire track.

[Verse 2]

The first line for the second verse of ‘Redbone’ by Childish Gambino simply implies as this platitude progression takes off, the woman wishes to make an effort and bring in amendments to her infidelity. However, he isn’t going with it. With compliance in our psyche, the meaning of “Redbone,” this controversially tasty “peanut butter chocolate cake” term is utilized as a striking portrayal for the complexion of his former romantic partner. The lyrics are illuminated with a flicker of red “Kool-Aid” that indicates her colored hair.

Genius Deconstructed: The Making of Redbone

Watch the making the song ‘Redbone’ by Childish Gambino deconstructed by its one of the producers, Ludwig Göransson, on Genius:

Conclusion: Redbone Meaning

This track earned a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 2018 Grammys held on the 28th of January 2018. The song obtained international praise promptly afterward, hitting Number 12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It earned the additional whiff approximately four months tardily when satires of ‘Redbone’ whirled it into a meme. What do you think is the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘Redbone’ by Childish Gambino? Is he talking about the Black Lives Matter movement or infidelity? Let us know in the comments section below.

Read the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘Redbone’ by Childish Gambino on Genius in detail.


Laviasco is an entertainment website run by a single person, the Admin himself, Mr. Suraj Marahatta, from research to blogging to website maintenance. Here, I have been providing the meaning of the lyrics of the songs little by little since 2019. My goal is to provide authentic sources for the facts and stay up-to-date.

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