I’ve mostly avoided the hullabaloo around Robin Thicke because I thought I didn’t care, but the truth is that it bugs the shit out of me. Not because I feel a need to defend him (but I will) or that I think he’s some amazing artist (who cares?) but because the hypocrisy of the whole thing is just obnoxious. I mean, really…are we really ready to surrender to the squares?
The basic argument against Thicke breaks down along two lines:
- He “stole” Marvin Gaye’s mojo for his song of the summer, “Blurred Lines”
- He’s a lout for carrying on with Miley Cyrus at the Video Music Awards and calling women bitches
The first is so preposterous I am amazed I even have to address it, but here it goes: Popular music always has and always will feed on itself.
Traditional folk music and bluegrass structure is built around a handful of simple patterns. Same with the blues. Same with most rock and roll, including so much of the rock canon we all adore.