Bruno Mars Addresses Accusations of Cultural Appropriation

“This music comes from love, and if you can’t hear that, then I don’t know what to tell you.”

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak hit the press circuit on Friday in support of their debut single as Silk Sonic.

The morning after the release of “Leave The Door Open,” the first glimpse at the duo’s upcoming collaborative album, Mars and .Paak beamed into The Breakfast Club to discuss the joint project, how they came up with the Silk Sonic moniker, and what it was like working together. But towards the end of the interview, Charlamagne went full shit-stirring Charlamagne, asking Mars to respond to those claiming he was culturally appropriating Black music and fashion.

“People love to accuse you of being a cultural thief, which I find interesting because you are a person of color,” the show’s host tells Mars. And for his part, the “Uptown Funk” singer was clear and forthright about his influences. “You can’t find an interview where I’m not talking about the entertainers that’ve come before me. The only reason why I’m here is because of James Brown, is because of Prince, Michael [Jackson.] That’s the only reason why I’m here,” Mars explained. “I’m growing up as a kid, watching Bobby Brown saying, ‘OK, if that’s what it takes to make it, then I’ve got to learn how to do the running man, I’ve got to learn how to do the moonwalk.’ That’s it. And this music comes from love, and if you can’t hear that, then I don’t know what to tell you,” Mars added.

The singer went on to imply that he sees himself as part of a lineage of entertainers. “What is the point if us, as musicians, can’t learn from the guys that’ve come before us?” Mars inquires.

You can watch Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak’s full interview with The Breakfast Club below.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

Published by

Recent Posts

Black Thought & Seun Kuti Connect on the ‘African Dreams’ EP

Seun Kuti and Black Thought have released three-track remix EP, African Dreams, with production from… Read More

December 9, 2022

Trevor Noah Honors Black Women in Emotional Final ‘Daily Show’ Episode

On Thursday, Trevor Noah signed off on his hosting duties of The Daily Show in a… Read More

December 9, 2022

After 5 Long Years, SZA Drops Her New Album ‘S.O.S.’

On Friday, SZA dropped her first album in five years, S.O.S., with appearances from Travis Scott,… Read More

December 9, 2022

Sundance Film Festival 2023: 6 Films From Black Filmmakers We Can’t Wait to See

Returning to in-person in January, the Sundance Film Festival 2023 will showcase features on Little… Read More

December 8, 2022

The Future of ‘Wonder Woman’ & ‘Black Adam’ In Question At DC Studios

DC Studios has cancelled Wonder Woman 3, while Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson action film Black… Read More

December 8, 2022

Kanye West Releases Surprise Song “Someday We’ll All Be Free” On Alex Jones’ ‘Infowars’

On Wednesday, Kanye West released new track "Someday We'll All Be Free" on Infowars, a… Read More

December 8, 2022