Originally published on Facebook for no real reason September 22nd 2014
Robin Thicke had been in the music business long before the summer of 2013. His father Alan gave Robin both the privilege of his last name and the open doors to several of his musical friends. By the time he was 17, Robin had co-wrote several pop and R&B hits throughout the 90’s for artists like Brandy, Christina Aguilera and Brain McKnight. His very first single “When I Get You Alone” came out in 2002 to moderate but respectable radio success. However his father openly questioned whether he should go down this path, even doubted his chances for success. Perhaps having been a moderate success himself, Alan knew the rough road ahead of him. But Robin’s heart was set on becoming a musical star.
If you’ve seen his debut video, you already know the drastic cosmetic changes Robin underwent in 2006 in order to appeal to a wider fan base, which did work, but to only a modest level. The R&B charts knew him well but the Pop world still wanted their blue eyed soul to come from Justin Timberlake. And despite the acclaim he had, the praise he wanted existed firmly in the Pop world. The R&B market is just too small a market for his dreams, despite their loyalty to him.
However his biggest hits on either Billboard chart were directly related to Pharrel Williams involvement, a man who floated between mainstream and underground popularity with ease and without care. Some musical analysts questioned openly if Robin’s fans were enjoying the singer or just the beat, and many were left without a firm answer.
And so this man, unable to define for himself where is his success lies and watching his younger years dwindle away, took full creative credit for the 2013 song of the summer. A year later he then admitted under oath having very little to do with the creation of the runaway hit.
Hopefully with this admission (one forced due to the circumstances) the guilt of his pride has stopped eating away at him. Hopefully he no longer has to quiet his nagging morality with powerful sedatives and a constantly inebriated state. It certainly kept him from thinking critically about the content of his lyrics. It also kept him from properly assessing how best how best to win over his lost love and instead gave him courage (however foolish) to publish his heartache for world to see. But these victories are ultimately hollow ones.
What can you tell a man who is sure he already knows it all? How can you advice a man who is pleased with his man-made throne? How can you warn a man that not only won’t listen, but can’t due to the medicine he’s prescribed to himself?
You just have to watch him fall.
He traded his credibility for a grasp at that star that had alluded him for so long. Yet every vodka-filled water bottle was a reminder that he wasn’t ready for the warmth from that light. Alone, shamed, and defeated, Robin Thicke is Icarus floating lifeless in the dark ocean, blanketed by the feathers of his hubris.
He will surely be afforded redemption at some point, men like him always are. But he’ll have to first remove the wax from his shoulders and learn to no longer look to the sun as his only star.