Were we waiting for the return of Bruno Mars? I wasn’t. No disrespect to Bruno but I forgot about him. I'm not sure a four-time Grammy winning artist with a few of the biggest hit singles of the last decade can be underrated but I think that's where we are with Bruno Mars. We all know he’s great. We’ve danced to his music at weddings and belted his songs in the shower but we weren’t refreshing the Apple Music “new” page desperately waiting for his single to drop. Right? Well, maybe we should have been.
Last night, Bruno released his brand new single 24K Magic, a corresponding music video and the cover of his upcoming third album. He hasn't released solo music in four years. We had to endure a summer of Justin Timberlake’s dad dancing and Can’t Stop the Feeling. How did I not know I missed Bruno Mars so much?
When I first watched the 24K Magic music video last night, admittedly I was a bit drunk and half asleep but I was really into it. This morning, Lainey sent me the video and said she loved the video and lyrics but asked, "Does that make me a bad feminist?” After re-watching it completely sober, I think I'm also a bad feminist because I love it so much. Judge for yourself and meet me on the other side.
Yes, the women in this video only seem to exist at props. Yes, they are wearing a lot less clothing than their male counterparts. But at least they seem like they are having a lot of fun? Is that horrible? I should probably be offended when Bruno sings about “bad bitches and ya ugly ass friends” but instead, I laughed. Oops. The bottom line about this video and song is that it’s all about pure, unadulterated FUN. Bruno and his boys are partying through Vegas looking like they are having the time of their lives. It’s like the ethnic version of The Hangover. There has been a lot written recently about the importance of letting male artists—particularly black male artists—be carefree and revel in uncomplicated, lighthearted joy. The hashtag #BlackBoyJoy was created to celebrate that exact idea. Bruno Mars is half Puerto Rican and half Filipino but this video is radiating #BlackBoyJoy. It’s been a tough year. It’s also been a year of beautiful music that reflects how tough the year has been. Right now, I need to watch Bruno yelling “fix ya face” while he swags through The Bellagio. Let’s not over think it.
24K Magic is a hilarious and catchy AF song. It’s a song both Macklemore and Justin Timberlake wish they could have written. Bruno wrote this about the song on Instagram: “You can call it my first single, but I call it the invitation to the party.” Consider this my official RSVP.