Judgment

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As I was on my way into work today listening to my iPod the remix to the song Magic by Robin Thicke featuring Mary J. Blige popped up.

I had completely forgotten about that song and wasn’t surprised that it was the remix because Mary is on there. And I stan hard for Mary.

I was grooving. It made me think about just how long Robin Thicke has been in the game. Blurred Lines may be his biggest hit to date (I think it will be his only major hit honestly, but that’s just me) but I can remember many moons ago when he was riding a bike through New York City in his very first video.

Generally as an artist I like Robin Thicke. I think he has a smooth voice and his music has a nice groove to it. I won’t go into the whole ‘he stole that beat from Marvin’ situation because we all know that’s what he did. However, anyone can sample something great and come back with something terrible and call it music.

Flo’Rida is a prime example.

But in the case with Blurred Lines I believe that he, TI and Pharrell all did their thing and made a classic track you will be hearing at wedding receptions, birthday parties and graduations for years to come.

After Magic concluded I thought to myself ‘Damn, Robin Thicke is the new Teena Marie.’

Let me explain.

teena marie 07We all know that when it comes to true Rhythm and Blues music Teena was a beast. She played guitar, keys AND the congas. And her voice was a melodious instrument dripping with soul.

Need proof?

Robin Thicke has got soul as well, just like Teena.

Teena made a lot of fantastic music with Rick James, a musical genius and notorious drug addict.

Robin Thicke has made music with Lil Wayne, T.I. AND Nicki Minaj. The three of them could have joined forces like Voltron and given Rick a run for his money with a few blurred lines of their own.

And finally, Teena and Robin both share the same melanin deficiency.

I remember growing up I thought that Teena was black when I heard her. But when I saw her I was like ‘Whoah….who is this Hippie with the nose ring’. I’m sure that was something she constantly had to deal with during the early part of her career until she would open her mouth to belt out a song that would silence all doubters.

Hell, I’m sure Robin Thicke had the same issues because his dad is Alan Thicke.

That’s Mike Seaver’s dad! He was like the white Cliff Huxtable. No way could Alan Thicke’s son sing anything that would make the ladies misty in their nether regions.

The joke is on all of us because not only is Robin crooning and making sistahs want to take a trip down to Vanilla Town, he’s married to one of the most beautiful black actresses in Hollywood.

I know that’s gotta hurt some of the brothas out there.

If you can garner anything from both of these artists it’s that you can’t be picky when you’re looking for the real thing. Both of them will bring you some soul if you look past their outward appearance and dig a little deeper into what they have to offer as artists. They say ‘Never Judge a Book By Its Cover’ but not a lot of people adhere to that rule.

We all do it though. We see a young mother waiting at the bus stop with two or three kids and automatically assume she’s a welfare case.

We see a group of teenage boys walking towards us on the street being loud and for a split second we wonder if they’ll try to rob us.

We come into so many different scenarios where we see people and judge them based off of our own experiences and stereotypes. For example, what race did you envision the young mother and the teenagers in the aforementioned examples? Because I never gave them a race, I just gave them a story.

When people say things like ‘Teena Marie was my favorite white soul singer” that’s just as bad as saying “Viola Davis is my favorite black actress”. Is it that necessary to specify the color before the occupation?

When I was traveling the globe no one came up to me and said ‘Oh, You’re the black American?’ They would say ‘So, you’re American?’ We have a huge issue with race in this country, as has been evidenced by the recent Martin ruling, Paula Deen scandal, Big Brother 15 Season of Segregation and many other news stories that seem like a huge rehashing of the same underlying feelings of race that many believe don’t exist anymore.

Judgment is a learned behavior. It’s not something that is innate. But what is innate is the will to change what we feel towards each other. Let’s all learn to listen and respect more and judge less.

 

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