Thicke blurs the R&B boundariesComment on this story
Not to be controversial, but Robin Thicke (pictured) is as “black” as they come. From his hit song Brand New Jones that sounds like something off an Usher Raymond CD to his close friendship with rapper Lil’ Wayne, the singer is as “ghetto” as they come. Don’t let the smart suits and clean haircuts fool you, the dude is from the streets.
It also helps that he is married to the gorgeous black actress Paula Patton whom he has been with for many years.
If you look at the song Blurred Lines, it is a modification of a Marvin Gaye song, a thing Thicke could not convincingly deny as he was influenced by Gaye while growing up.
So now he comes to MTV Base with Robin Thicke’s Super Sexy R&B, a show in which he steps away from the stage and tells us of his 20 favourite R&B songs. I can bet my last penny that we will hear the likes of Mary J Blige, Boyz II Men and Dru Hill on that collection.
Not to say there is anything wrong with him liking black musicians, it’s a free world, but it is just interesting that there are few of his kind in the music industry. Besides Thicke and Justin Timberlake, everyone else keeps to their own. This is why the idea of Eminem being a white rapper was always a phenomenal thing.
Without realising it we have demarcated music genres by race and when some people break those rules, it is almost an unforgivable abomination. Take Lil’ Wayne, for example, when he side-stepped from rap and released a rock album. It was viewed as the worst thing he’d done, but if you listen to it, you will like a track or two. The main problem was that he was not “culturally” cut for it.
So this is where Thicke soars. He entered a genre that’s predominantly black and made a name for himself.
You listen to Lost Without You and can place Musiq SoulChild as the singer without a flinch. He plays the guitar, he has a lovely falsetto and, most of all, a cheesy demeanour – all of which are essential to being an R&B artist.
In fact, speaking of R&B, it’s 2014 and the genre is dying and yet, Thicke is one of the few artists who gets people all excited whenever he releases and he never disappoints. So if he’s not making his music who is Robin Thicke listening to? Find out on Robin Thicke’s Super Sexy R&B.
• Robin Thicke’s Super Sexy R&B screens on Saturday on MTV Base at 5pm.