Bruno Mars

Is Bruno Mars Guilty of Cultural Appropriation? As Bruno Mars Says Black Musicians Don’t Receives Proper Credit They Deserve

Following the success of his album 24K Magic, Bruno Mars – who is Filipino, Puerto Rican and Ashkenazi Jewish – has been accused by some of appropriating black music. However, many music fans feel that the charge is misguided.
No doubt, Bruno Mars is a music superstar! but the panelist team at The Grapevine sat down to debate whether or not Bruno is a cultural appropriator. As a non-black person of color, does Bruno get a pass for creating and profiting off “black music”?
Going back to the memory lane, nearly every traditional American music styles can trace its roots back to the black musicians, but the sad scenario about this is that they are not given properly credit they deserve. Over the years, black artists are not properly given the credit they deserve by the Grammys, while also the white-owned labels often limit black musicians to a prescribed set of genres—primarily hip-hop, R&B, and the ambiguous umbrella term “urban.”
Coming back to Bruno Mars, who his recent album 24K Magic borrows heavily from New Jack Swing-era R&B—a hip-hop influenced genre dominated by black artists like Boyz II Men, Babyface, and R. Kelly—and he’s drawn frequent comparisons to Bobby Brown throughout his career. In one of his recent interview with Latina Magazine, he noting how many genres black musicians have pioneered:

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Is Bruno Mars Guilty of Cultural Appropriation? As Bruno Mars Says Black Musicians Don’t Receives Proper Credit They Deserve

 

When you say ‘black music,’ understand that you are talking about rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, funk, doo-wop, hip-hop, and Motown. 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.

This episode gets intense; you’ve been warned.

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