Robin & Blues
Let me begin by congratulating you for having the song of the summer. “Blurred Lines.” Despite the many problems with the lyrics and accompanying video, “Blurred Lines” is a bona fide (Hello, Jon B.) hit. It’s catchy, it exhibits deft use of a sample and your falsetto. It’s being used to sell and publicize everything. Most importantly, it sons “Suit and Tie.”
It’s also the number one song in the country, which is a euphemistic way of saying that white people are watching. That means, of course, that you are at a bit of a crossroads in your career. You’ve gone from being the shaggy-haired bike riding dude singing over a sample of Disco Beethoven to a slick-haired suit-(sans tie)-wearing headliner at the grown and sexy radio station’s annual concert, to being the soundtrack to drunk white girls dancing all up on each other in the club. I’m really happy for you #Thicke, but let me finish.
Despite the ironic crossover success of “Blurred Lines,” you have an incredible opportunity to join the likes of John Brown, Pat Riley, Teena Marie and Robert Deniro. Which is to say that you might go from a Black America work visa, if you will, to a green card. You have a decent resume: You’re married to a black woman. You’re married to a black woman who stars in Denzel Washington movies, which means you probably know Denzel Washington, which is a good look for you. Second, you have had a pretty successful career amongst the grown and sexy demographic, as well as a couple of other joints that appeal to other tastes. (“The New Generation” is a jam, son!) Third, heretofore you have not seemed to have any desire for a white following. More points for you. Finally, in response to the success of “Blurred Lines,” you said that white folks are now trying to claim you when black folks have been down since day one. Stellar move, #Thicke. You have worked the mess out of the blue-eyed soul handbook. Soul clap for you.
But as John Mayer and the aforementioned Justin Timberlake have shown, such arrangements can change suddenly–and permanently. Don’t fuck it up, Don’t say nigger/nigga. Stay away from nipples that aren’t yours or your wife’s. Don’t cornrow your hair. Don’t miss the BET Awards. And don’t be acting like you don’t know us. Do any of these things and we will sully your character, calling you just the latest in a long line of fetishistic white men tryna make a buck off of black sound faster than you can say Essence Music Festival. You’ve been warned. Act right, and you’ll be able to spend your retirement singing medleys for the UNCF. So far, so good, son. But tread softly, bruh.