Originally posted on http://LetsTalkRaStyle.com/chill-on-bruno
A LITTLE INFO ABOUT BRUNO
I’m guessing that Bruno Mars’ multiple awards wins last month is what ignited the flame of the culture vulture (appropriation of Black culture) conversation. So, let’s talk about it. Bruno’s ethnicity is Puerto Rican. A couple of months ago he had an interview where he seemed to be livid because he was being accused of denying and/or hiding his roots. In the interview, Bruno stated “My Daddy is a Puerto Rican pimp!” He also went into grave details about growing up listening to the greats in “Black music,” and that all music can be traced back to Africa.
LET ME TAKE YOU TO SCHOOL
What is culture? Culture is the behaviors, beliefs and characteristics of a particular social, ethnic, or age group. Cultural appropriation is KIM KARDASIAN! (Just kidding, but not really). Cultural appropriation (cultural misappropriation) is
the adoption STEALING the elements of a minority culture by members of the dominant culture.” Now, let me give you a little history on Puerto Rico. Free Africans (Moors) came over to Puerto Rico with the Spaniards (Colonizers). When the Spaniards began to colonize Puerto Rico, they wanted more free labor so they began to participate in the Atlantic slave trade. Therefore Taínos (the indigenous people of Puert Rico) were combined with the African slaves.
I ran across a video of a popular YouTuber named Seren Sensi Aishitemasu. She is a well spoken Pro Black intellectual. But, I must admit I was disgusted to hear her comments about Bruno Mars. To say that Bruno plays up the fact that he’s racially ambiguous in an effort to continue to appropriate Black culture/music is (1) Insensitive and (2) It’s not true! To be mad at Bruno Mars for selling records based on the way he looks is the same thing as disliking Black people because they were born Black.
If Bruno grew up listening to “Black music,” doesn’t that make it part of his culture? Seren also said he uses his racial ambiguity to jump from different music genres, such as Rock & Roll, Pop, R&B, and Hip Hop! NEWSFLASH! ALL genres of music are Black genres of music!
One thing that I do agree with from Seren is that “White people prefer Black music from non Black artist.” That’s true, but it’s always been that way! We know the colonizers love everything we have as long as we aren’t the ones providing the good (s). It sounds like the anger and outrage should be directed towards the consumer, and not towards Bruno.
I SAID WHAT I SAID
It seems like people aren’t recognizing that the Fat Joe’s and J. Lo’s of the industry grew up in the same neighborhood as the Slick Rick’s and Remy Ma’s. We have similar plights and connected history! You can’t appropriate a culture that you’re already a part of, and you certainly shouldn’t punish a person for their genetics. There are tons of celebrities that appropriate Black culture, but Bruno just isn’t one of them.