“Black Music Means Everything”: Bruno Mars Drops Some Truth for Black History Month
If you think Bruno Mars isn’t awesome, you’re just demonstrably wrong. This is a man who could nail an Elvis impersonation before most of us could do our multiplication tables. He can dance like Michael Jackson (or as close as any mere mortal has ever gotten), sing like James Brown and rock leopard print without looking like he raided his grandmother’s closet. And even though “Uptown Funk” was technically a Mark Ronson song, everyone knows whose performance made it the best pop-funk jam since Roger Troutman retired his talkbox.
Now, just in time for Black History Month, he’s gotten even more awesome by dropping a little black-history truth bomb in a recent interview with Latina magazine. Apparently agreeing with writer Jesus Trivino Alarcon that his music can be described as “black music,” Mars goes on to clarify what that term means to him
“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.”
Because we apparently now live in a country where literally everything said by anyone is cause for controversy, I’m sure the above statement will send some alt-right trolls scurrying to Twitter to express their #AllLivesMatter outrage. But Mars is 100 percent correct. With the possible exceptions of country and bluegrass (and maybe not even those), every major American genre of music owes its existence to African-American originators.