Bruno Mars and Cardi B have teamed up for a remix of “Finesse,” a song hailing from Mars’ 2016 album, 24K Magic. While the artists originally teased the unveiling of the song at midnight on Wednesday, they surprised fans by also releasing its video.
The original Nineties R&B-tipped, upbeat song celebrates the joy of being with the object of one’s affection and how that can have a positive reaction for the couple and others. Cardi B plays up the confidence exuded on the track, leading it off. “Cardi B straight stuntin’/ Can’t tell me nothin’,” she raps. “Bossed up and I changed the game.” Later, Mars reprises the original with his verses. “When I’m walking with you/ I watch the whole room change,” Mars sings. “Baby, that’s what you do.”
Mars tweeted that the video was dedicated to one of his favorite TV shows, and then thanked Keenen Ivory Wayans. The new clip pays homage to In Living Color, the sketch comedy series starring the Wayans brothers and other family members that was an iconic Nineties staple. Like the show it gives props to, the video features choreographed dancing, although it doesn’t feature Jennifer Lopez, who launched her career as part of the show’s Fly Girls dance troupe (choreographed by actress Rosie Perez) who were featured on the show.
Mars told Rolling Stone that “Finesse” was one of several songs he tinkered with to get the sound to his liking before 24K Magic’s release. “There’s just some things fucking the groove up,” he said at the time. “Anytime you see us, on tour, on TV, I want to be moving … I was very conscious on this album of the bounce.” The singer said the song went through some 20 versions before he was satisfied with it.
Mars is nominated for six Grammys, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year for 24K Magic’s title track and Song of the Year for “That’s What I Like.” Cardi B is nominated for two Grammys for her breakout hit “Bodak Yellow.” This week, Cardi B made music history as the first rapper to have her first three Billboard Hot 100 entries in the chart’s Top 10 simultaneously. It’s a feat only the Beatles and Ashanti have achieved previously.