Professional beggar/singer Robin Thicke has barely spoken to the press since his breakup with Paula Patton and his subsequent Paula album tribute and his subsequent apology tour. In retrospect, he realizes some of his actions during that time maayyyyy have been kind of pathetic.
In a New York Times interview published today, a Zen-like Thicke goes into depth about his emotional wellbeing after the Patton split, as well as the “Blurred Lines” trial and verdict and the rapey-ness of that song.
He says of the “Blurred Lines” verdict that he knows “the difference between inspiration and theft,” but also admits to acting dickish during the trial deposition, which happened two weeks after his separation. So that’s why:
“I was going through personal hell at the time. And I was careless in the deposition... My personal issues were all that mattered to me at the time. That’s why I use the word ‘careless’ to describe my attitude at the time. Obviously, I didn’t give my all to the trial. It simply wasn’t as important to me as what was going on in my personal life. I was lost at the time. I had lost my way.”
As for the rape controversy around “Blurred Lines,” Thicke says:
“Pharrell and I have never and would never write a song with any negative connotation like that. I think the song on its own — I don’t think that would have existed. Once the video came out, that changed the conversation.”
Most of the interview focuses on the details of the “Blurred Lines” trial and what it means for the music industry moving forward. Thicke’s defense—“Why would I do that?”—is the all-time worst and greatest argument for everything:
“Why would I want to, or have to, steal from anybody to make my music? Inspiration can be subliminal. As a songwriter, you’re obviously trying to create a brand-new feeling that comes from your heart. But you can’t help but be inspired by all of the greatness that came before you.”
On whether he still unintentionally steals music he’s heard before, he says:
“Most of the songs that are good, they happen in five minutes. I sit at the piano and it pours right out of me. It’s not until later that somebody mentions, “Ooh, that feels like ‘After the Dance,’ ” or something like that.”
Thicke recorded Paula as a tribute to his ex, and last summer he inexplicably serenaded Patton at the 2014 BET Awards.
It was a bad idea. He says:
“...I came home, and my best friend of 20 years, Craig Crawford, said, “I saw your BET performance.” And I said: “Oh yeah! What did you think?” You know — excited. And he goes: “I gotta be honest with you, buddy. You’re kind of playing yourself. You look like a sucker.” And it hit me that I’d lost my perspective. What I thought was romantic was just embarrassing. And he said, “You should just go away for a while.” So I shut everything down. I took some time off to be with my son, and to be with my family and close friends. And the more time I took off, the more everything became clear.”
What about that Paula album?
“Look, my songwriting has always been autobiographical, and always will be. The ‘Paula’ album was no different. I was struggling through my toughest time, and I decided to share it. And I remember my team and my record company didn’t want me to put it out, but they stuck by me. In hindsight, the only thing I would have done differently was, I wouldn’t have promoted it or sold it. I would have given it away. That would have kept the purity of the message intact.”
Thicke also blames “drugs and alcohol” and ego for his actions. Paula Patton remains silent.
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