With the release of his funk-inspired album, 24K Magic Bruno Mars has been under critique for cultural appropriation. After the chart-topping album became a Grammy smash collecting five awards in 2018 the conversation has intensified. All in spite of Bruno being very vocal about being influenced by Black artists, working with Black musicians, and being a person of color himself.
The conversation was once again brought to the table after Meshell Ndegeocello called out the pop star for making “karaoke” music and mimicking the sounds of Black artists. Many people began to side with Ndegeocello. Others pointed out that Bruno makes genuinely good music and the conversation should be geared towards white supremacy and who is allowed to succeed in the music industry.
— Charlie Wilson (@ImCharlieWilson) March 9, 2018
R&B crooner Charlie Wilson, however, was one artist who stepped up in support of Bruno Mars’ musical talent. “Just want to join in the convo and stand up for my friend @BrunoMars!,” Wilson tweeted. “For the current haters, I’ll say this: Bruno with this album helped bring back the classic New Jack / R&B sound to the masses when it was left for dead years ago…Bruno’s songs on this album are original and no different than any other artist pulling from genres before him.”
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.