Robin Thicke covers 20th anniversary issue of Vibe: deserved or too trendy?

Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke covers the 20th anniversary edition of Vibe magazine alongside Janelle Monae. This photoshoot looks characteristically dorky. I can’t help but love “Blurred Lines” (despite all accusations of “rapey” lyrics) because it’s a fantastic running song — perfect beat, catchy lyrics, just the right length in duration. Aside from this smash hit, Robin is that big geek who just happened to be born with an amazing voice and a smooth groove. Having a famous father didn’t hurt his rise to fame either. Seriously, Robin looks like such a hot dork to me, which I guess means that he’s my own personal Tom Hiddleston.

There’s a corollary that I wanted to mention. In 2008, Robin did an interview with Billboard about how he tried to get a Vibe cover, but they turned him down. He claimed, “Their response was they don’t have white artists on the cover; that the only white artist they’ve had on the cover was Eminem. I guess if that’s what it is, it is what it is. And I respect that because I live in a house with a black woman. I won’t use the word ‘racism.’ I will say it’s a tough–but rewarding–fight” Now Vibe has apparently changed its tune on Robin, which I guess is a good thing, right?

Robin Thicke

Unfortunately, the few excerpts released thus far from Vibe are rather uneventful other than Robin claiming that he and Janelle both “represent boundaryless music” and “are products of the generations of funk, soul, rock ‘n’ roll–and then hip-hop coming into the mix.” So here are some excerpts from another recent interview that Robin did with Billboard:

“Blurred Lines” almost didn’t happen: “The record company didn’t get it. They didn’t even pay for the video. They didn’t want to support it at all. Remy Martin paid for the video. And as soon as the record company saw the video, they said, ‘This is a smash.'”

On cross appeal: “The reason why ‘Blurred Lines’ is breaking records is because rarely do you have a song playing on all pop stations and all black stations, all of the urban stations. And because I have an urban fan base and urban audience, I wonder if it was a brand-new artist, would they play (‘Blurred Lines’) on black radio? I don’t think so. They might not. … Someone was like, ‘It’s like (OutKast’s) “Hey Ya!'”

Why he filmed the “naked” version of the video: “I had just enough fans to get some people into it at the beginning, and then the naked video was just so good, it was kind of the thing people immediately say, ‘Have you seen this?’ – which is kind of what (director) Diane (Martel) wanted to do. She’s been loving my music for 10 years, she’s like, ‘I can’t believe you’re not a bigger star.’ … She said, ‘I think if … we do a funny, silly video with topless girls, everybody’s going to have to know who Robin Thicke is.'”

On the “Blurred Lines” scandal: “For all the controversy and all this other stuff that people try to make it seem like that’s more important, what’s really important about music and entertainment is to entertain and make people feel good.”

On his new playful sound vs. his old records: “I went into the album with all kinds things in my head like, `Why didn’t my last album sell? How come?’ I guess I need to freshen it up. I need to take some chances. I need to do something new. … So I did want to push the boundaries and work with some hitmakers to see if they could help me and luckily it all worked out. But the good thing is I didn’t have to change who I am and what I like. And I almost did. I sang a couple songs I would not have been proud of if I released them. I loved the albums just the way they are. I have no regrets … but I figured I don’t want to be one thing; I have to take some chances.”

What’s next for Robin Thicke? “I want to get right in the studio. I want to make a country album, a Christmas album, a gospel album. I’m like finally! I’m ready to make four albums right now.”

[From Billboard]

This particular Billboard interview doesn’t break any ground, but it’s nice to hear Robin admit that he filmed the completely NSFW, unrated version of the “Blurred Lines” video just for attention. I agree with Kaiser about that version being a bit much because I think the merely suggestive, underwear version is far sexier. Also, the sight of braless dancing makes me wince in pain.

Anyway, what do you think of this Vibe shoot? It’s kinda cool but so cheesy.

Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke

Robin Thicke

Photos courtesy of Vibe

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47 Responses to “Robin Thicke covers 20th anniversary issue of Vibe: deserved or too trendy?”

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  1. Jules says:

    Pharrell Williams is the genius behind the 2 biggest hits of the summer. Where is his cover?

    • Krissy says:

      @Jules you just hit the nail on the head. Couldn’t agree more.

    • Dee says:

      Pharell is not behind get lucky.He merely sings on it, Daft Punk produced and wrote that song.Pharell is extremely talented but Daft Punk are musical mavericks with their own amazing career. Mainstream america just didnt pay attention to them before get lucky. In europe they have been big for a decade. Also the legend Niles Rodgers from Chic needs to be credited for laying down the bass riff on that song.

      • Jayna says:

        Exactly. Sometimes wish I could fly to Europe for my favorite acts’ concerts, because America just doesn’t respond in the same way, even at concerts, to them.

      • K says:

        Daft Punk wrote some fun songs, but they’re not geniuses. They’re using very tried and true rubrics. Ever hear of disco, for instance?

    • Funtimes18 says:

      Totally agree!
      I found it interesting when I read in an interview that Pharell is a very quiet, low key person who likes to be in the background. Not in the spotlight. I guess that why we never read interviews or gossip about him.
      Love him!

    • Jamie says:

      I heard someone over the radio call it the Elvis Principle. You-know-what-I-am-talking-about.

    • Leah says:

      @Jules. Thats not quite accurate.

      Pharell did not write or produce the other big hit ( Get Lucky), Daft Punk hit Get Lucky was produced by them and they share co-writing credits with Niles Rogers so it wouldnt be right to give him credit for being the genius behind that as Pharell is just a featured singer on that track.

      He did produce Blurred Lines though.

    • Katia says:

      And! He’s gorgeous. I love looking at him in both videos.oohlala

  2. Launicaangelina says:

    I love Robin Thicke and Blurred Lines. It’s fun and Bedhead is right, it’s perfect for running and working out. I was telling my fiancée that this is one of the best pop songs to come out in ages.

    Side note: Robin Thicke and my fiancée somewhat resemble each other.

  3. blue marie says:

    while I like his music, it’s hard for me to take him seriously when I see him in interviews, etc. all I can think is “dude your dad was in a Robin Sparkles video”

  4. Nev says:


  5. Toot says:

    Love Robin, have for years. I’m happy that he’s getting big success now. He can make some really sweet songs. I love his “Dreamworld” song the most. He just sounds so good.

    Cover looks good.

  6. Tapioca says:

    Sorry guys, to me he’s the male Miley Cyrus – standing on the shoulders of genuinely talented musicians and trying so hard to be “down wit da kidz” it’s actually painful to watch, only he’s more punchable because he’s old enough to know better.

    • fingerbinger says:

      Robin does seem like a poser. He’s different from the “blue eyed” soul singers from the past. People like Teena Marie and Jon B seemed natural. Even though I like him he does seem a little phony. He isn’t as bad as Miley though. She is a fool.

    • MimiLong says:

      Comparing Robin to Miley is completely out of line. Robin Thicke has been writing music and performing since before anyone knew who Miley was. He is not trying to be “down wit da kidz”…whatever that means. He is finally getting the recognition he deserves. Look him up…he’s been doing his thing for years.

      • Jenny says:

        Robin Thicke has been writing and producing hits for other artists for years. As far as I know, the artists you mentioned were not writing and producing their tracks, so how could he be standing on their shoulders?
        I have enjoyed his music for about a decade and I’m happy he has finally had a breakout hit. I think if anything the try-hard vibe people may get is actually his dorkiness showing: watch the video for “Get You Alone.” Dude is funny, dorky and has swagger all at the same time; I don’t find him attractive to look at, but somehow I find his personality really sexy.

    • ORLY says:

      Actually, Tapioca. — Robin Thicke has written songs for many “genuine talented musicians” including Pink, Michael Jackson etc.
      He has finally gained some recognition and people assume he’s new. He’s been writing since he was a teen and is now in his mid thirties. He has paid his due.

      • fingerbinger says:

        I don’t think it’s the music Tapioca is talking about. It sounds like Tap is talking about his persona. If you watch his interviews he acts like Robb T from the block not Robin Thicke with 2 celeb parents from L.A

      • ORLY says:

        Finger-that’s not what I got from her comment but that’s fine. I’ve seen several interviews with him, one just this morning on live TV here (Toronto) and there was none of the posing you guys are referring to at all.
        Everyone knows his dad is Alan Thicke, I don’t think he tries to hide that.
        He’s talented, he married his high school sweetheart, he just had a baby, he finally has international recognition. Good for him.
        I’m not a huge fan but I think most of the criticism he gets is from people who base their opinions on limited information.

      • Sisi says:

        yeah i agree with fingerbinger. Thicke used to be doing his own thing, like ‘When I Get You Alone’, but since he works with Pharrell (Wanna Love You was it?) he’s fronting like he’s Justin Timberlake – a down with the boys crooning soulful playa in a suit- and JT’s pop-persona isn’t all that convincing, so why copy it unconvincingly. The same goes for his video’s that copy the hiphop video styles from 50 cent and Jay-Z. It just looks like he’s playing dress up to me somehow, and it makes him look like a pop-product. the product and the packaging don’t seem to match to me. I honestly think he doesn’t need it, he can rely on only his talent, but apparently someone on his side thinks otherwise.

      • Jamie says:

        Robin Thicke is just this generations Michael Bolton. Talented, yes. But also skating on the whole White Boy Singing RnB/Soul thing. He is a novelty act and you can tell from his core fans. I watched some concert clips online, I havent seen more middle aged white women in a concert since New Kids On The Block did their comeback tour.

        Its like someone else above stated, Elvis Pressly was the first to get away with this. But he certainly was not the last.

        Having said that, if he kills Justins career then we can talk.

    • Jayna says:

      “Down wit da kidz?” He writes music for adults. The video was always supposed to be tongue in cheek. He wanted them to be dorky, middle-aged men dancing very uncool, not cool. Robin is in on the joke, not the joke. They wrote the song to be more fun and light-hearted than he usually is in his music, which is more sexier R&B or love-tortured songs. I have listened to him on radio interviews and he’s always funny and laid back.

    • NeoCleo says:

      How hard is it to make a hit song when the video features naked women?

      Not impressed, not even remotely.

    • Sarah says:

      So he sat around asking himself why his last album didn’t sell much. Hey, he said I’ll put topless woman in my next video! Then everyone will look at their breasts and say hey, now I know who Robin Thicke is. Ridiculous. The girls bounce around like golden retrievers – ecstatically happy and just as dumb looking. The video also has balloons that spell out “Robin Thicke has a big dick”. What is he – 12 years old? Poser.

      • Barhey says:

        I just saw the video for the first time and it made me weirdly uncomfortable. I wouldn’t say I’m uptight, but some of the stuff like blowing cigarette smoke into the models face was a little messed up.

      • TG says:

        At least he was honest unlike that poseur Justin Timberdouche who tries to pretend everything he does is “art”. I love Blurred lines and listen and watch it over and over. I don’t like the naked version though since seeing topless women isn’t interesting to me but the edited version I love and can’t explain why. I just do.

  7. Dee says:

    I am more interested in Janelle Monae than Robin Thicke. I find her to be a much more creative and interesting artist. But i am glad Robin Thicke finally got his success, he certainly paid his due.

  8. Joiq says:

    I saw Robin live a few years back at the House of Blues. Front row. He is the real deal. So talented. I’m glad he’s getting mainstreamed. I’ve never really listened to Janelle’s music but I’ll have to give her a listen. But you know what’s throwing me off about this photo shoot? The second photo down (when they’re sitting at the table) looks budget. I want to say Happy New Year, rather than Happy Anniversary Vibe.

  9. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    I still don’t get why people thought the lyrics were rapey. Yeah, taken out of context if some dude who’s raping you says “I know you want it”–then yeah, that’s rapey. Some of the lines in the song, taken completely by themselves can seem rapey. But if you put it all together, we’re just dealing with two super freaks.

    I loved the video. I was a little confused about why they were topless (I try to see a point in things like that), but I never once thought the video was sexy at all. It was really very goofy an d playful. They looked like they were having fun. The version where they had clothes on didn’t feel right with me, maybe because I had already seen the naked one a bunch of times.

  10. Ciru says:

    I want every stitch of Janelle Monae’s outfit. All of it. YUM.

  11. ZigZagZoey says:

    Minority here…
    I am sick to death of the song, and do NOT find him attractive in any way. Yuck. And all I ever hear about him is how he cheats on his wife constantly. More yuck. Sorry!

    • Jellyfish says:

      Yes I agree he is not attractive at all. He’s creepy looking. Can we please talk about Janelles style. It’s been the same for several years now. The hair and the suit. The suit I don’t mind that’s cute. But her weird hairstyle is not and she needs to let that go.

      • ZigZagZoey says:

        Thanks for posting! I thought I was the only one.
        I don’t like the hair on either of them.
        I don’t understand the smooshing it into the middle to look like a cupie doll or Ed Grimly…You see it on so many guys and they all look really dumb to me.
        She must do that with her hair to feel taller! Or she smuggles sh*t in there….Great hiding place for extra tampons…

    • MyCatLoves TV says:

      I am too old, I guess. I only hear his dad in his speaking voice and it weirds me out.

  12. Jayna says:

    I love Robin Thicke and in his interviews he’s never this pretentious “my art” bullshit like Gaga and the popstars these days. He always gave full credit to the video director for the video. The song is also my running song. Best summer song so far.

    I don’t see where being some ’80s TV actor’s son ever helped him in the R&B genre. He has paid his dues big time, writing songs for others, building his career bit by bit from that to his own albums. He has put in a lot of hard work.

  13. MsAubra says:

    Vibe and Rolling stone USED to be 2 of may fave magazine subscriptions back in the day!

  14. RHONYC says:

    i love his ‘Lost Without You’ vid.

    he & Paula make a super sexy couple. 😉

    • Mayamae says:

      I just read the other day that he and his wife didn’t go to her prom because she’s biracial and he’s white. It made me sad, but at least they’re still together.

    • Little Darling says:

      I’m with you on that RHONYC…I think they are beautiful and doubly talented.

  15. AlmondJoy says:

    I like Robin, I’ve been listening to his music for years. Janelle is AMAZING and her part of the interview was quite interesting… I guess she’s not relevant enough to be featured here.

  16. Chloeee says:

    Janelle is five kinds of cool and I dig her style to no end. And I’m gonna say it. I like Thicke too. That song is so good. And it’s a hit because it’s a throwback sound. It’s reminiscent of old school Michael and that makes it appeal to a bigger demographic.