What Did We Learn From Robin Thicke?

Robin Thicke and Paula Patton (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Robin Thicke and Paula Patton (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

I promise you, I did not want to write about Robin Thicke and Paula Patton.

My man Alex already gave Robin that work on here. Also, I spent more time than I’m comfortable admitting talking about their whole situation in the week leading up to the release of his recent album, which he named after his estranged wife. When you make a name for yourself writing about R&B and relationships, people ask you to go on their shows and discuss. That’s how I ended up on Billboard’s “Juice” podcast, NPR’s “Tell Me More”, and The PopLife Podcast. Not to mention it had all the elements to make for a daily conversation on Twitter in that it was about a man being a creep to his wife, a black woman.


But yesterday, while perusing the news, I came across an interesting headline on TMZ:


Apparently, he put their house up for sale, and though neither of them have hired a divorce lawyer or filed, Thicke did hire a lawyer to start drawing up a financial settlement and assist with splitting assets.

So now we’re here, and I’m writing about this because frankly, if I’m looking at this story as just that, a story, I couldn’t be happier about the ending.

As a man who knows what it’s like to beg for forgiveness and do everything I can to win back a woman I wronged, I wanted Thicke’s methods, no matter how creepy, to work. And, in an age where authenticity is all we ask from artists, I had to at least tip my hat to Thicke for having the gumption to not act like he wasn’t going through things. He walked red carpets the way I walk home after drowning my sorrows in whiskey. To me, his was one of the more humane stories to come out of the world of celebrity gossip. He went from living that rock star life last year, popping bottles, dancing with models, and seeing models dance to his songs, to showing up in music videos with a bloody face talking about how he has to “Get Her Back” all within a year. I know a couple of guys who could relate to that.

But then I heard Paula, and I realized not only was Robin finished, he didn’t deserve to get his wife back.

In short: Paula, the album is worse than Paula the actress. That is not to say it’s awful, but, y’all know what I mean. As admirable as Thicke’s efforts were with this project, no amount of heart he poured into it was going to make up for its incoherent, laconic songwriting and mediocre production. His heart was in a place where his voice, hands, and ears were not.


But as bad of an album as it is, Robin did exactly what I imagine any man would do if he was getting a divorce from the woman he’s been with since high school: He poured his heart out, and though many people would like to think all a man needs to do is sing a little song (whether he can hold a note or not) and shed some tears to get his woman back, we see that doesn’t necessarily work, and that’s good to know too.

We can all move on now, but I just wanted to thank Robin Thicke for giving us what is one of the best cautionary tales of recent memory.

Jozen Cummings is a senior manager at Bleacher Report. He is the founder and creator of the blog UntilIGetMarried.com. His work has been featured at GQ.com, Deadspin, and many other publications.



The problem was everything happened WAY too fast. The best music comes after reflection, not during the storm.