While many believe it's cultural appropriation, some artists are coming to Bruno's defense.
Last week, a video was circulating around the web, accusing Bruno Mars of cultural appropriation. "Bruno Mars 100% is a cultural appropriator. He is not black, at all, and he plays up his racial ambiguity to cross genres," it noted. Mars, whose mother is Fillipina and father is Puerto Rican and Jewish, creates music that can be considered traditionally African-American. He suffered some backlash online, but some Black celebrities believe that he isn't at fault.
Charlie Wilson, an artist that Bruno was accused of imitating, posted a statement on Twitter. "The sounds from the late 80's and early 90's hadn't been present in music until Bruno and he did a damn great job of bringing it back!!," the note read. There were no hard feelings, and Wilson appears to be a fan.
Activist Shaun King wrote, "I just want to be practical here. Are people saying that Bruno Mars shouldn't sing? Or that when he sings he needs to somehow whiten that shit up and sound more like Rod Stewart. I'm dead serious. What type of music is this man 'allowed' to do?" Others used shorter sentiments to show support of the singer. Rapsody tweeted, "Keep making that funky ish, @BrunoMars!!!! Do you always," closing out the tweet with a heart and rose emoji.
As producer 9th Wonder puts it, it's just a result of your surroundings. He believes the culture is for sharing. The conversation is still divisive but maybe if more celebrities speak out, we can settle on a conclusion, and possible solution.