With “Finesse,” the next-to-last song on his latest album “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars set his way-back machine precisely to the early 1990s R&B world of Jodeci, Bell Biv Devoe et al — but he and Cardi B have taken the song and the era to whole a new level with the remix and video, which dropped early Thursday. An homage to the classic TV show “In Living Color,” the video’s look and synchronized dance moves vividly evoke the era, but it’s Cardi who puts the song and the video over the top, channeling “What’s the 411?”-era Mary J. Blige with her rapped-sung vocals and especially her look, with vintage giant-hoop earrings, a turned-around baseball cap and short shorts.
Mars tweeted shortly before the video’s release, “This video is dedicated to one of my favorite TV shows of all time.”
Both Mars and newcomer Cardi are both multiple Grammy nominees — he has six and she’s up for two — so it would not be a total surprise to see this video re-enacted in some fashion on Grammy stage Jan. 28. The first performers for the show were also announced on Thursday morning.
Even though Cardi had one of the biggest singles of 2017 with “Bodak Yellow” and has released a pair of mixtapes, she has not yet released an official debut album. Still, she was one of the most ubiquitous artists of last year, featured on G-Eazy’s “No Limit” with A$AP Rocky, Migos’ “Motorsport” with Nicki Minaj, and Ozuna’s “La Modelo” – and rounded out 2017 by releasing “Bartier Cardi,” featuring 21 Savage. Her debut album is expected later in 2018.