Seren Sensei Aishitemasu, a YouTuber, writer and activist recently appeared on The Grapevine where she accused singer Bruno Mars of cultural appropriation.
Beloved and well-known 24K Magic singer was recently accused of cultural appropriation by Seren Sensei Aishetemasu on The Grapevine and it has sparked a massive discussion on Twitter.
Popular web-series, The Grapevine, serves to highlight and explore African-American issues. Aishitemasu’s clip where she used Bruno Mars as an example for cultural appropriation has caused an uproar.
The video is in 2-parts which features an entire debate whether he was culturally appropriate. However, it was Aishitemasu’s comments that caught attention all over the internet.
‘Cultural Appropriation’, defined by Oxford Dictionaries is ‘The unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society.’
In the video, she said, “Bruno Mars 100 per cent is a cultural appropriator. He is not black at all, and he plays up his racial ambiguity to cross genres.”
Mars is half Filipino from his mother’s side and one quarter Puerto Rican and a quarter Ashkenazi Jewish from his father’s side.
Aishitemasu further said, “What Bruno Mars does, is he takes pre-existing work and he just completely, word-for-word recreates it, extrapolates it. He does not create it, he does not improve upon it, he does not make it better.
“He’s a karaoke singer, he’s a wedding singer, he’s the person you hire to do Michael Jackson and Prince covers. Yet Bruno Mars has an Album of the Year Grammy and Prince never won an Album of the Year Grammy.”
However, many colored artists have spoken up about the issue in Bruno’s defense. 9th Wonder posted a string of tweets debunking Aishitemasu’s argument.
9th Wonder was clearly fed up with the allegations regarding Bruno Mars and posted a number of tweets in his defense, while educating everyone what cultural appropriation is.
He also took his time to truly address the issue by replying to tweets regarding the accusations made against the star.
Charlie Wilson also decided to pitch in and give his support to the Finesse artist. He shared a long note in response to the accusations.
In a tweet, Wilson mentioned how Bruno’s efforts in the music industry actually brought back sounds from the late 80’s and early 90’s.
He also highlighted that Bruno always credited the artists he gained inspiration from.
Rapsody, another well-known rapper shared her support for the artist by retweeting all of 9th Wonder’s tweets as well as posting one of her own.
She encouraged the artist and told him to continue doing what he is in her own amazing way.
Aishitemasu has always been vocal through her Youtube channel where she has addressed African-American issues.
In one of her videos, “All White People Are Racist”, she addressed the masses that would bring the argument ‘not all white people’.
“Black people don’t have the privilege of individualism. We don’t, you know, so just, so spare me your whining about, ‘not all white people’, ‘not all white people’.
“Because I don’t even f*cking care, like I don’t want to hear it like, ‘yes, all white people’. All white people are products of this racist, sexist, classist, white supremacist system.”
She further added, “All of you, all of you, every last one of you. Every single f*cking one of you, are products of the system. Okay.”
Aishitemasu faced backlash from many regarding her opinions of Bruno Mars and her idea of cultural appropriation. African-Americans spoke in defense that what Bruno does is cultural appreciation and not appropriation.
It was even brought up as a topic in this heated discussion if Aishitemasu is the right person to speak of cultural appropriation when she refers to herself with a Japanese alias.
Bruno Mars has not yet said anything on this matter and is currently quite cheerful on his Twitter account regarding his 24K Magic tour.