Mario Believes He Earned Spot On R&B's Mount Rushmore

The Baltimore native believes his stylistic blends and years of experience in the game make him a no-brainer in the genre's hall of fame.

BYGabriel Bras Nevares
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Mario has been in the R&B genre for decades now, amassing chart-topping hits, awards, cultural acclaim, and a lot of experience. Moreover, TMZ Hip Hop recently caught him on the street in Beverly Hills, and they prompted a "R&B Mount Rushmore" conversation. Of course, the Baltimore singer had plenty of names to go through, many of which came almost instantly to him when asked about the genre's all-time greats. However, he eventually pivoted to making his own case as to why he should also be part of that list of GOATs. Sure, there are many to consider, but the 37-year-old doesn't want anyone sleeping on him. Also, he spoke about the music industry as a whole within hip-hop and R&B.

"Ooh, that's a good one," Mario replied to the question of his R&B Mount Rushmore. "Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, um... me! *laughs* You know why I say that? Hold on. Because I grew up listening to so many different types of music. With my mother and my grandmother, I got two generations of just soul music, you know, just great R&B. You know what I'm saying, that I grew up to. So that's why I say my voice, I can do a little bit of everything. I was thinking the fourth person would be... the fourth person would be Whitney Houston. Um, Usher, it's a lot. My Mount Rushmore can go, like, it can go cr*zy.

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Mario Makes His Case For R&B's Mount Rushmore

"I think that what can help with R&B culture is just getting back to, like, raw music," Mario said of the current genre landscape. "Just really taking your time to create timeless music and not just hits, you know what I'm saying? Let's just get back to creating timeless music, let's get back to artist development, let's get back to creating music that can stand the test of time, man. Originality. I wouldn't say there's something wrong with music. I think that, as a culture, we just gotta get back to making meaningful music. Not music just to make bread and make money, but music that makes people feel something. Feel good, you know, feel inspired.

"If you go back to any classic album you think is classic and you listen to it, something about that album inspires you," he continued. "Music is meant to inspire people, it's meant to be the soundtrack of our culture. If 20 years from now, people want to understand our world based off of the music we listening to today, what would they be getting? I mean, that's what I think about it, you know what I'm saying? It's a lot of greats out there, still a lot of young artists that came from that time that's doing their thing. I would have to put [Chris Brown] in my Mount Rushmore, he a young GOAT." Meanwhile, for more news and updates on Mario, check back in with HNHH.

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About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.