9th Wonder Defends Bruno Mars Against Claims Of Cultural Appropriation

"Is there a 'black' barometer? Who gets the pass? Who’s invited to the cookout?"

(AllHipHop News) Bruno Mars' musical approach sparked a debate on across the Twitter landscape over the weekend. A viral video of vlogger Seren Sensei blasting the "That's What I Like" performer for alleged cultural appropriation went viral on the social media platform.

Other Twitter users then quickly joined the dispute over whether Mars is guilty of stealing from black culture. Hip Hop producer 9th Wonder took the side of Bruno supporters.

9th posted:

So many loopholes in this Bruno Mars situation. I’ve made boom-beats..forever...there’s still a large part of the population of people saying “no one wants to hear old school 90s sounding hip-hop...”. I continue to stay on my path, knowing that there is generation of people that needs to be exposed to the feeling... Still it’s “the 90s are over....”. Dot made a black ass album entitled....”To Pimp A Butterfly”...and it was “nobody wants to hear all that black sh-t; and yes...you have to look outside of your bubble to see exactly what lots of folk are saying..before you say “well I DID”.. SH-T. Black Panther was a comic book, a series on BET..etc...before half of y’all Now wanna pack all of your sh-t, cross your arms, and head to Wakanda all of Of a sudden. For some of y’all...It’s NOT the sound...it’s NOT the feeling...it’s the popularity of the situation you are concerned with. We live in a time now...that we don’t have the Arsenio Halls, the Rap City’s, the Video Souls, The Video Vibrations, The Ebony’s, the JET magazines, The Yo MTV Raps to establish the epicenter of what WE as black musicians and black culture deem to be #1. We are now fighting for space in a mainstream culture, when during that time...we were mainstream all along. We were being studied, and...we were also influencing... Influence.....INFLUENCE....for all the kids that grew up with me in the era of post segregation, for every 40 year old White, Puerto Rican, Asian, and any other ethnicity you can think of...to know about all the same music from Das Efx, To New Edition, To Guns and Roses... 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... Even in the time of Soul II Soul and Sybil, Lisa Stansfield dropped “All Around The World....”, Jane Child dropped a jam....sh-t...3RD Bass Dropped the Cactus Album (Serch had the first white Flattop haircut I’d ever seen....)... So what do we want...in a culture that is Universal as math...how do we expect to for our culture now to be accept by mainstream (in which half of y’all don’t even recognize brilliance in artists UNTIL it’s slammed in your face by mass media..)..and NOT INFLUENCE the masses.. Half of y’all don’t even appreciate high level black art until it is support by silent white benefactors...but that’s another class...we will save that for later.... Enter Bruno Mars...(half of y’all don’t even know his story, wasn’t in his house, know his childhood friends...)...nothing... The word is EXPOSURE...what someone was EXPOSED to.... NOW! Do I agree with the sediment of 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 of the year category.. So is it Bruno Mars fault that...he was influenced by BabyFace, Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis...around the same time from a hip-hop side I was influenced by DJ Premier, Pete Rock, and The Beatminerz? This is a Sociology study on influence and exposure.... ....not...”Oh Bruno wanna just copy us....”. How many of us black folk has seen people from different backgrounds growing up surrounded by black culture and being heavily influenced by it? How many “Jon B”’s was at your high school? How many Teena Marie’s was it in the 80s? Is there a “black” barometer? Who gets the pass? Who’s invited to the cookout? How many times we’ve been at a cookout and seen someone from another race and someone explained...”Nah...he/she cool as sh-t tho...” What’s “cool as sh-t?”....normally it’s when that cool “whatever race they are”...either; Knocked somebody out, dunked on somebody at the park, can dance, can dress, has “swag”...or something we deem as cool... So...the most powerful cultural element in the world....black culture....some of y’all want it to be mainstreamed but not to influence....you want it to be RECOGNIZED and BLASTED for everyone to see, but not thinking about its casualties? So...we have Vibranium and all of this wonderful technology and art...should we keep it in Wakanda? Or.... Again I say. STAY away from complainers. We got [BJ The Chicago Kid], [SiR], [Anderson .Paak], [Daniel Ceaser]....how about GO out and BUY/STREAM their music, popularize them and stop waiting for mainstream to tell you to like them, so you can’t say “well I didn’t know..” Peace to Bruno Mars, and word up to Bobby Caldwell, Hall and Oates, Michael McDonald, Teena Marie, Lisa Stansfield...some of y’all didn’t even know Bobby Caldwell was white until that night he was on the BET Awards...been singing it all your life... Y’all make me sick.

Bruno Mars has been very open about being influenced by black artists. In 2017, he expressed, "When you say ‘black music,’ understand that you are talking about rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, funk, doo-wop, hip-hop, and Motown. Black people created it all. Being Puerto Rican, even salsa music stems back to the Motherland [Africa]. So, in my world, black music means everything. It’s what gives America its swag.”

During his 2018 Grammy acceptance speech for the Album of the Year award, the Hawaii-born singer/songwriter acknowledged New Jack Swing pioneers Babyface, Teddy Riley, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis. Babyface later responded to Mars' shout out by saying, "I think he's genius in his approach and one of the best entertainers we've had in a very, very long time. I consider Bruno in the same category with Prince and with Michael Jackson."

Comments (1)
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Kl tha composer
Kl tha composer

Big shout out to 9th wonder and his brutal honesty.this shouldve have been said so many years ago but im glad someone with a platform actually had the balls to say it..we never support each other then talk shit when someone else support us is Fact..bruno making better music than alot of these guys.we support music that keep you mentally on repeat for the sake of being 😎..yall make me sick 2!!!!proud 2 b black but y we act like we dont love ourselves(2pac)for people siding with the guy who called pac boring.black people need to grow balls and stop layin down..

Yohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILEY)
EditorYohance Kyles (@HUEYmixwitRILE…