If you look closely enough, there's a lot you can tell about Cardi B and Bruno Mars' friendship from their '90s throwback music video for "Finesse (Remix)." For starters, it's all too easy to imagine them hanging out together and rewatching old episodes of In Living Color, the beloved '90s sketch show to which the video is dedicated, while divulging how much they'd love to perform on it's set. But all importantly, you can read so much in their gestures. They have fun, sure, and a whole lot of it. But crucially, they appear to have a lot of respect for each other as performers with neither one trying to outdo the other. They each provide the space necessary for them both to show off their respective talents (and the silliest facial expressions they could each muster).
But the friendship is also something of a mystery. How did Cardi B and Bruno Mars become friends? Though neither of them have spoken about the other in interviews regarding their apparent connection, their friendship can be easily traced back to a cute and very simple social media interaction. During a Twitter Q&A with his fanslast August, Mars was asked which artist he was currently listening to: "Cardi B," he responded.
And as you might imagine, when someone like Mars cosigns you on Twitter, his answer didn't go unnoticed by the rapper who was evidently elated he even knew who she was.
Jump to the beginning of January, fans were given an adorable glimpse into their friendship via an Instagram post from Mars about the first time he and Cardi B met. Describing the rapper as a "true star" who possesses "something that can't be taught," Mars enthused:
"I met cardi B at 3 am after my show in LA backstage where we recorded her verse for Finesse. She walked in the room and she was everything I’d hope she’d be."
The two share an undeniable vibe together, something Vulture's Frank Guan suggested doesn't actually make sense on paper, but which comes through in their collaboration. "Their musical brands could hardly be more different: It’s hard to imagine any common ground between eternal, selfless sunshine and the iciest, most prideful contempt," Guan mused, "Yet Cardi’s motions and vocals end up fitting the 'Finesse' remix video perfectly; by switching gears and foregrounding the playful, even goofy demeanor typical of her social-media presence, she seamlessly merges into the early-’90s aesthetic lovingly re-created by Mars."
Similarly, in their appraisal of "Finesse (Remix)," Billboard's Jason Lipshutz celebrated how the collaboration "is the sort of calculated pop move that could deliver Cardi to a wider audience," and applauded Mars' foresight in "having wisely recognized the new life that Cardi could inject into one of 24K Magic’s fan favorites." Whether they hang out watching In Living Color together all the time or not, there's no denying their collaboration on "Finesse (Remix)" represents all the fun, synchronicity, and collaborative spirit of a really great friendship. And it's all there in the song and its video.
With Cardi B nominated for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for "Bodak Yellow" at the Grammy Awards, and Mars enjoying six Grammy nominations, including Album Of The Year for 24K Magic and Song Of The Year for "That's What I Like," here's hoping the two get to enjoy some major celebrations at the ceremony. Considering the two are due to perform together at the Grammys too, the night is definitely shaping up to be a fun one for them to experience together and for fans to enjoy watching, hopefully with their own buddies, at home. And here's hoping we also get to see plenty of soppy platonic-love notes shared between the two on social media afterward.