Bruno Mars Accused of Cultural Appropriation

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A portion of a clip from “The Grapevine,” a series explaining African American issues, has brought up a great debate on Bruno Mars, and if he has been a “culture vulture” by making money off of “black music.”

If you don’t know, cultural appropriation is the taking of a culture’s elements without knowing what it is/does, and using it for something other than it’s soul purpose.

Bruno Mars’s music is more commonly known from “African American genres”, such as R&B, reggae, hip-hop and many more.

Seren Sensei, was the voice that started it all with her two minute twitter video, voicing her opinion. (video link: https://twitter.com/hannahmburrell/status/971924903174733826/video/1)

Stating that Bruno is someone who “does not create it [music], he does not improve upon it, he does not make it better. He’s a karaoke singer, he’s a wedding singer, he’s the person you hire to do Michael Jackson and Prince covers. Yet Bruno Mars has an Album of the Year Grammy and Prince never won an Album of the Year Grammy.”

Some people agreed with Sensei’s statement, but celebrities were fast to come to the singers side and defend him. Shaun King and Charlie Wilson (who Mars is accused of “copying”) were quick to stand up for Bruno, saying that he is a “genuine talent pure and simple.”  

Defending himself, Mars also says in an interview with Latina Magazine “Black people created it all. Being Puerto Rican, even salsa music stems back to the Motherland [Africa]. So, in my world, black music means everything. It’s what gives America its swag” continuing with “I’m a child raised in the ’90s,” he continued. Pop music was heavily rooted in R&B from Whitney, Diddy, Dr. Dre, Boyz II Men, Aaliyah, TLC, Babyface, New Edition, Michael, and so much more … I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these artists who inspired me.”

Mars has gotten many Grammys since his start in the music business and has done many collabritative songs, one of the hits being “24k Magic” with Cardi B. Although this comment brought up conversation, artists have told Bruno to stay true to himself, and just keep doing what he’s doing.

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Bruno Mars Accused of Cultural Appropriation