Not even R&B legend Stevie Wonder buys the accusations of cultural appropriation against Bruno Mars. When TMZ asked for his opinion last weekend, as he was leaving the restaurant Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills, Wonder didn’t mince words.
“Here’s the thing, God created music for all of us to enjoy. So we cannot limit ourselves by people’s fears and insecurities. [Mars] is a great talent. So the other stuff is just bullshit. Listen, he was inspired by great musicians and great artists and songwriters. So that’s good.”
The Grapevine Youtube series launched this debate a week ago, after the half-Puerto Rican, half-Filipino Mars swept the Grammy Awards in January with 24K Magic. Wonder is only the latest legacy artist to take his side.
Jermaine Dupri pointed out how Mars thanked producers Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at the Grammys, giving them the recognition that cultural appropriators wouldn’t have granted. Fellow hip-hop producer 9th Wonder argued that black music like ’90s R&B has had such reach, Mars probably couldn’t help but be inspired. “it’s called INFLUENCE, which has no racial barriers…” he tweeted.
“It’s not about a pass, it’s about God creating music for everybody,” Wonder stressed. Will that be the final word on this debate, though? We’ll have to wait and see.