Date of Interview: 06/27/2008
© 2008 Clayton Perry
Determination and perseverance have been the hallmarks of Robin Thicke’s musical career. Then again, such fortitude was necessary in the world of R&B, where his presence was confronted with the (white) “elephant in the room.”
The media’s labeling of Thicke’s repertoire as “blue-eyed soul” was no match for the sheer talent exposed on his sophomore album, The Evolution of Robin Thicke. On February 24, 2007, Thicke made R&B history when he became the first white male artist to reach the number-one spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart since George Michael, who reached the summit in 1988 with “One More Try.” The following week, on March 3, 2007, “Lost Without U” simultaneously topped two additional charts as well: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Adult R&B Airplay. Far from a momentary blip, “Lost Without U” became one of 2007′s biggest R&B hits—spending eleven consecutive weeks at the top of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Adult R&B Airplay charts and ten consecutive weeks on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
In the midst of Robin Thicke’s historical success, he was tapped to perform “Lost Without U” at the 2007 BET Awards, where he had been nominated as the year’s “Best Male R&B Artist” and received consideration as the “Viewer’s Choice” for his “Lost Without U” music video. Unlike Justin Timberlake, who had been nominated several years earlier in 2003, Thicke’s reception was less controversial and more readily accepted.
On September 9, 2008, Robin Thicke will release his third solo album, Something Else, which was produced entirely by himself and longtime collaborator Pro-Jay. Upon review of the album’s lead single, “Magic,” Robin Thicke managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on Lil’ Wayne, “blue-eyed soul” and topping the R&B charts.