Bruno Mars responds to claims of appropriating Black culture
8 March 2021, 09:51
The Grammy Award-winning singer addressed claims he is a 'cultural thief'.
Bruno Mars has addressed accusations of being a 'cultural thief' and appropriating Black culture during his musical career.
The singer-songwriter - who is of Filipino, Puerto Rican and Ashkenazi Jewish descent - has been accused of cultural appropriation in his music and performances in the past, sparking debate across social media.
During an interview with The Breakfast Club alongside his Silk Sonic teammate Anderson .Paak, Mars defended himself against the allegations.
"People love to accuse you of being a cultural thief, which I find interesting because you are a person of colour. What would you say to those people?" asked Charlamagne Tha God.
"I would say you can’t find an interview where I am not talking about the entertainers that have come before me," Mars responded. "The only reason why I’m here is because of James Brown, Prince, Michael [Jackson] – that’s the only reason why I’m here."
"I’m growing up as a kid watching Bobby Brown, saying, ‘OK, if that’s what it takes to make it then I gotta do the running man, I gotta learn how to do the moonwalk’. That’s it. This music comes from love and if you can’t hear that, then I don’t know what to tell you."
He continued, "What’s the point if we, as musicians, can’t learn from the guys who came before us? Why did they do it? I hope later on down the road there’s gonna be a band that’s taking what we did and flipping that and freaking that and putting their own spin on it, because if they don’t then what was the point of us doing this?"
"It comes with the gig," he replied when asked if the criticism affects him. "And there’s real merit to what people are saying about Black entertainers not getting their flowers, and I’m championing with that, I’m with that. I understand, but it’s just Twitter."
Mars and .Paak recently dropped their first single, 'Leave The Door Open', under their joint moniker Silk Sonic. The single is set to appear on the duo's upcoming collaborative album, An Evening With Silk Sonic.