People Missed The Point About Bruno Mars… [VIDEO]
Written by Adrian on 12 March 2018
A GrapevineTV clip of Seren (Sensei Aishitemasu on YouTube) speaking about cultural appropriation and pop music went viral because she said most things people were uncomfortable with acknowledging. People were too afraid to tackle the true implications of what a Bruno Mars means. I think it’s personally reasonable to enjoy someone’s music yet hold them accountable. Most of the responses to what she was saying ranged from reminding her that Bruno is ‘still talented’ to calling her angry.
People were missing the point. Seren and many other people on that Grapevine panel were mainly critiquing the system at large. Labels push certain sounds only if they come from people who look a certain way. This is obvious and it is a problem.
There are some who argue that Bruno Mars isn’t responsible for a system that favors him vs the Black artists who created the genres he borrows from. I would agree. I would also say that Bruno Mars is responsible for being complacent while it’s happening. He has worked with and credited Black artists but I would like to see him speak more about the system that is so obviously swinging in his favor. Seren called him a karaoke artist and I find it hard to disagree.
Having real conversations like that would encourage other people to take a good look at themselves. It would also give hope to the up and coming artist who may feel discouraged because their work seems to fall on deaf ears. Consistently acknowledging that there is a problem in this country where black art seems to only be supremely valued when it’s coming from non-black artists would be a step in the right direction. Awareness and action are some of the only things that can fix this huge problem in our music industry.
Watch the GrapevineTV episode about Bruno Mars + Appropriation that For The Culture had a chance to be a part of below: