Bruno Mars’s new video for “Finesse (Remix) (feat. Cardi B)” is a certified throwback. “Finesse” originally appeared sans Cardi B on Mars’s 2016 record 24K Magic. The track oozes with ’90s pop staples: record scratches, boy-bandy backup vocals and a jumpy beat. But the music video manages to elevate the aesthetic to a whole new level.
Directed by Bruno Mars himself, the remixed video is youthful, lighthearted and nostalgic. It begins with quick cuts of Mars and Cardi B dressed in brightly-colored retro outfits, goofing around with paint brushes against a white-sheet backdrop. As Cardi opens, rapping about making people “shook,” Mars looks like a kid, grinning and dancing goofily in the background.
After Cardi’s verse, the scene switches to Mars and two male backup dancers in classic ’90s apparel (conveniently re-trending now in 2018) of layers, short-sleeved sweatshirts, light-wash jeans and white sneakers. They bop smoothly on the stage of what looks like an outdated television set while three similarly fashioned female dancers swoon playfully from a nearby balcony. These ladies — as well as Cardi B — eventually join in on the feel good fun, dancing and DJ-ing as Cardi picks up the tempo rapping, “got it going on, don’t it feel so good to be us?”
The video wraps up with Bruno Mars, Cardi and the five dancers posing silently as “Dedicated to: Living in Color” rolls onto the screen. This ’90s-inspired video is a homage to the sketch comedy show “In Living Color,” which aired for five seasons on Fox beginning in 1990. Standing alongside NBC’s sketch comedy program “Saturday Night Live,” whose cast was comprised of primarily white people, “In Living Color” had a majority-black cast and gave rise to the careers of Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez and Jim Carrey.
While the “Finesse” video is a cute throwback to an iconic time, the video fades to black and breaks its conclusive silence with an iconic bit of modern pop culture: a signature Cardi B sigh. Never heard one of those? Just go watch the video.