If you ask me, Bruno Mars was one of the best performances at the BET Awards. I mean, the man consistently brings it. Not only does he produce quality music, he gives you dance moves, he gives you showmanship, he gives you entertainment.
Still, not everyone is a fan. And last night after another show-stopping performance, Jenn M. Jackson, a writer for the Washington Post tweeted this:
She certainly raises some valid points. Bruno doesn’t identify as Black, though I’d argue if we swabbed him, he’d present more than a little bit of African ancestry. But be that as it may, he does make his money off of Black music. But I fail to grasp Jackson’s full argument. Is it that non-Black people should never be able to make Black music? What is that she would like Bruno Mars to do to make up for making money of Black folks’ art form?
As Jackson mentioned, Bruno has gone out of his way to acknowledge the greats and their Blackness.
In Latina, he said:
“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.”
He acknowledges the roots of the music, he employs Black band members, he’s performed with legendary Black artists like Morris Day and the Time and Nile Rodgers, formerly of Chic. He honored the late and great Prince. Aside from vowing never to make anything resembling Black music, what is the answer?
Apparently, there are others who share my confusion. And then those who were a bit perturbed by Jackson’s analysis.