The Twitterverse erupted into a huge polarizing debate after The Grapevine dropped a video asking if Bruno Mars was a cultural appropriator. Opinions are mixed with some disagreeing with the critique while others agreed that the Grammy-winning artist is faking the funk.
There are a few musicians who have spoken out on the subject, one being hip-hop producer 9th Wonder. In a series tweets, the hitmaker questioned the outrage over Bruno Mars and his music. 9th Wonder went on to explain the difference between appropriation and influence.
"So, if you were born in the 1970s and 1980s….dancing in your living room to New Editions NE HeartBreak or watching Janet’s Rhythm Nation 1814 videos as a kid….it’s called INFLUENCE, which has no racial barriers…," he tweeted. "Half y’all don’t even appreciate high level black art until it is supported by silent white benefactors…but that’s another class…we will save that for later."
"Enter Bruno Mars…(half y’all don’t even know his story, wasn’t in his house, know his childhood friends…)…nothing," he continued. "NOW! Do I agree with the sediment mainstream only accepts “black” sounds such as “24 Karat Magic” from certain boxes….in some ways…MAYBE…but DONALD GLOVER made AWAKEN MY LOVE…which is 1970s PIMP BLACK…..which also made the album the year category."
9th concluded his rant with "We have Vibraunium," which is in reference to the power fictional metal from Black Panther. "Should we keep it in Wakanda? Or…"
R&B legend Charlie Wilson also voiced his support for Bruno Mars on Twitter. In his tweet he partially wrote:
“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.”