Robin Thicke has blurred the lines between sexy and sleazy

I don’t know where to begin with Robin Thicke’s new video, “Blurred Lines.” The song itself, featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I., is a funky, soulful slide reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.”

The lyrics and juxtaposition of nearly nude women with farm animals are where the problems lie. Thicke wanted to convey an image of women free from restrictive relationships with, “OK now he was close/tried to domesticate you/But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature/Just let me liberate you.”

Liberate? With three men in suits next to topless women? Where is the liberation in that?  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a prude. Even the unrated version of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” has quite a few mammary flashes.

The biggest difference is attitude. The Adam Levine-led vid has a much stronger air of self-assurance among everyone involved. The women in “Blurred Lines,” when not rhythmlessly prancing around a bale of hay, riding a stationary bike, or cuddling baby goats, appear visibly uncomfortable. One model practically shrinks away as T.I. brushes her hair during his raunchy verse, “Yeah, had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you.” Really T.I.? To whom are you referring? Not your wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris.

Which leads to another curious point. Thicke supposedly asked his actress wife, Paula Patton, for “permission” to launch this video, but there so far have been no reports of T.I. talking with Tiny or Pharrell conferring with his fiancée, Helen Lasichanh, on the content . Does that indicate that they are simply lesser participants in Thicke’s vision, or that it is weak for black men to consult the women in their lives on professional matters, particularly those involving the inevitably sexually charged art in R&B and hip-hop?

Unfortunately, the ends, or rear ends, don’t justify the means. Instead of a sexy career revival, (especially for Williams and Thicke), the trio comes across like dirty old men trying to push up on barely legal college girls. Thicke almost looks like he’s trying to up-sex his oft-compared, blue-eyed soul contemporary, Justin Timberlake, who spent a few months in media purgatory in the aftermath of the 04’ Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” incident with Janet Jackson – who suffered even worse, but that’s another story.

I don’t know where to end with this either, except to say that people like uncut videos, but Thicke could have done better. A lot better.

Take a look for yourself. This is clip is NSFW, so check it out before you go to sleep, not when you get to the office.

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2 thoughts on “Robin Thicke has blurred the lines between sexy and sleazy

  1. Hmmm… really don’t know what to say we all have seen worse; but again I have a big problem with music preferably r&B and hip hop that goes beyond being artistic but degrading and dehumanizing towards women. Had a bitch once ..but you baddest bitch, being that I see animals in the video my thought process is he comparing a women to a dog. This video is not visually appealing lost me with the animals and I think there are other ways to interpret wild or sexual freedom without using animals. I just don’t get it. It makes me think is he trying to promote bestiality. Whats up with the girl holding the goat (mostly naked). …REALLY.
    I would have appreciated the video if he had some beautiful naked “women” jump into Lake Minnetonka, and he channeled his inner bad ass Prince side. T.I. and Pharrell would be side line players participating in open voyeurism, and the women were more comfortable and confident with who they are and what they were doing.
    .Overall I find the video distasteful, I agree he could have done a lot better.

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