The rapper, whose real name is Donald Glover, took the internet by storm in May with the visually striking, heavily allusive video, which took on topics like gun violence and black oppression in America.
The video, filmed in a warehouse, featured Glover performing African dance moves alongside actor and musician Calvin the Second (who many viewers thought initially was the father of Trayvon Martin) and a choir. The choir scene appeared to be a reference to the 2015 mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white supremacist gunman killed nine black churchgoers.
Glover’s Grammys for Best Music Video ― alongside video director Hiro Murai and producers Ibra Ake, Jason Cole and Fam Rothstein ― and Best Rap/Sung Performance were awarded prior to the show Sunday. The song was also nominated for Best R&B Song but lost to “Best Part” by H.E.R. featuring Daniel Caesar.
He did not attend the ceremony but still made history. The win in the Song of the Year category marked the first time a rap song has won that Grammy Award.
“This Is America” took the award for Best New Video over competitors “Apeshit” by the Carters (husband-and-wife team Beyoncé and Jay-Z), “I’m Not Racist” by Joyner Lucas, “Pynk” by Janelle Monáe, and “Mumbo Jumbo” by Tierra Whack.
You can follow along with all the winners at the 2019 Grammy Awards here.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly indicated the father of Trayvon Martin appeared in the music video for “This is America.”