The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Due to a scheduling snafu, the follow-up to last week's Ageism in Hip-Hop discussion with Rob Quest had to be postponed until next week. Robin Thicke was in town Monday night at Citizen Lounge promoting forthcoming album Sex Therapy, so we went and spoke to him instead. Double Note: Robin Thicke is just about the dreamiest. Halfway through the interview, we stopped paying attention and just started trying to mentally persuade him to give us butterfly kisses. Thug thizzle. This Week's International R&B Sensation: Robin Thicke This Week's Subject(s): His crappy life; growing up under Alan Thicke's wing; artists who still refer to themselves mononymously. Ask An International R&B Sensation: The obvious starting point: Your life seems like it's really, really sucky. You're rich, famous, handsome, talented. God, that must be just about awful. Robin Thicke: [laughs] That's not really a question. AAIRBS: Hmm... dang it. RT: [laughs] No, I just thank God for everything that I have and try and do my part.AAIRBS: What was it like growing up with Alan Thicke as your dad? Was he, like, always trying to impart life lessons to you in 30-minute segments or something?
RT: Well, I really didn't know any different. He's a cool dude, real cool. So it felt like it was kind of hard to live up that. [laughs] But he taught me the right things.AAIRBS: The growing pains, we assume.
RT: [laughs] He taught me to write my songs and how to produce them. He taught me how to learn my craft, and that's something I think is really important.AAIRBS: A couple of years ago you stopped going by just "Thicke" and started going by "Robin Thicke." Why was that?
RT: Well, I put that first album out and people were kind of confused. They were like, "Who's this? Who's singing? Is it the guy with the bike? What is this?"AAIRBS: [laughs]
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RT: I wanted to get away from that. It was like I was trying to be too cool. [laughs] That's not me, that's not honest. I'm not "Thicke," I'm Robin Thicke. It's a nice name. That's me. So that's what I went with.AAIRBS: Cool. So, like, when you see other artists nowadays using the one-name thing, do you laugh to yourself? Like, "One name? Ha. I'm off that."
RT: It depends. Some people it works for them, some it doesn't. For me, it didn't. "Thicke" doesn't describe me. Robin Thicke does.Robin Thicke's new album, Sex Therapy, will be available December 15. Follow him on Twitter at @robinThicke.