It’s always fascinating when white people discover other white people who pass for black, especially when the discovery comes late in their existence. Robin Thicke’s journey to mainstream stardom has been similar to many ethnic musicians who have already been quite established in their genre.
I can only imagine the bio redundant questions Robin has had to answer in the past few months and assume it can be somewhat insulting to his evolution. It’s as if some Adam Levine fans are wondering how they overlooked him. Mentioning the cloth of Boz Scaggs, Tina Marie and Jon B for skin texture comparison will at least make him raise an eyebrow in acknowledgement of fine fabric, but mundane comparisons to Justin Timberlake are stereotypically inaccurate to Robin’s core audience and the instrumental producer they’ve shared for years – Pharrell Williams.
Pharrell, Robin and Justin all understand the blurred lines of surface and substance. They pivot within the construct of different appeals while preserving what matters most – the music. It’s not about being “white chocolate” or a “wigger,” because black people in general are attracted to those who exude heart and soul. Having rhythm is a definite plus, but heart & soul is everything.
This year on BET, Justin’s performance with Charlie Wilson and Robin’s cameos on Real Husbands of Hollywood indirectly schooled the likes of Justin Beiber on black appreciation and the soul responsibility of acceptance. While JT made his-story with Janet at the Superbowl and RT had his own malfunction with Miley at the Video Music Awards, they both seem to share the reactionary sentiment of what’s wrong with “you people,” which in these cases are mainly “their people.” I reserve the right not to comment further on either incident.
The paradox used to be less layered. It’s like when white people from Boston would know New Kids on the Block but not know New Edition even though NKOTB were created as knock offs by their mutual producer, Maurice Starr. Starr practically announced them with a Don King white hope strategy that as always proven to work. Why waste time on a modern day Marvin Gaye when a can get ten times as rich with a white version? Just like the scene in The Five Heartbeats when they find out five white guys will be on the album cover to increase sales, Robin’s current crossover has become a peculiar double-cross.
There are so many commonwealth versions of Ellison’s “Invisible Man” that makes the book seem less exceptional. Well, Robin has experienced his fair share of opaque adversity while navigating through favorable handicaps. He, like his hit song, was a dark horse, sired by a popular sitcom dad who was ebullient over his son’s voice, and beautiful wife. Some discovered him as a result of his wife’s fame and even questions about him were minimal in many of her interviews. There was a large white population vaguely familiar with his songs but cared little of his existence, which is only weird because he’s white and talented. If you’re thinking why that is weird then you probably have the privilege of being oblivious. Basically, the NKOTB formula didn’t skyrocket him into star status because there was a key ingredient missing: the pelvic thrust. Until now, Robin rarely showed he had the moves like Jagger. I would bet Starr tested his talent pool’s dancing agility before hearing (or caring) how well they can sing.
Mr. Thicke is more of a love crooner than a sex lothario. Somehow, he has become a victim of his own authenticity. While maintaining a twenty year relationship, he’s been pretty consistent in making both his professional persona and his personal life the same, which is an admirable reflection of respect for his core audience – black women. Please read this Essence interview for proper insight.
Now, he has a new audience of white women who twerk and want to be one of the girls in the video. A video, that brings still motion to most of the print ads found in beauty magazines. A video, that is criticized for degrading women; but not in just the typical chauvinistic pig way, yet in the date rape way (I guess the Beats by Dre Pill is the mickey). Robin is softly being persecuted with accusations that usually fall in the realm of black athletes who have questionable trysts with white women. I say softly because even his harshest critics like, dare I say, love the song. Would it be more acceptable if it was released as a single off the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack?
Girls just want to have fun. Feminists have always been at odds with the overwhelming evidence that support this simple theory and how it is interpreted. Robin’s song only compliments the dalliance of Cyndi’s creed. Add a little alcohol and it often results in an opportunity for intimacy between consenting adults. In a festive atmosphere, the communication of mind and body language isn’t always clear partially because both should be exercising some self-control. The man usually makes a series of various offers that may include what he would like to eat. It is the woman’s role to accept or decline the propositions but nowadays the roles are often reversed. Taking another page from Pharrell’s summer publishing, let’s just say we’re up all night to get lucky because romantic timing is everything. The lunar laws of attraction is completely normal behavior and far from misogynistic entrapment as long as all parties want to be in the company of each other. What rhymes with hug me? Libido.
Since Robin Thicke is having the best months ever and probably hasn’t put half the amount of thought into the all this crap as I have, I’ll conclude by saying that the photo with Lana Scolaro would make Hugh Hefner proud. It’s worth 1000 words and “no means no” is not one of the captions. The tactfully lewd moment is a freeze frame of a magic trick that is literally smoke and mirrors. From the front we see a good guy and a bad girl, but from the back it’s looking like sex therapy. The ambidexterity of one hand placed where her panty line should be while the left hand pleads plausible deniability with the wedding ring in plain sight, captures everything people love and hate to love about the song, the video, the VMA performance, his marriage and his talent…I know you want it!
#Thicke #ShePutHerAssOnMyHand #Sorry #LoveAfterWar
T. Better Baldwin is a creative mercenary and ethical lobbyist who was born, raised and resides in New York City.