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Growing Pains!




Continuing with our effort to showcase a few guest writers, our man DonCarter is back with another piece for you. Expect more to come from this young man & his trusty pen...


Why this dude isn’t at the forefront of R&B escapes me!

Or, maybe I’m losin’ it, because Robin Thicke has one of the sickest pens in the industry. Plus, his soulful voice sets fire to every track he’s featured on. By now, everybody knows that he’s son to Alan Thicke from Growing Pains, but that’s irrelevant here. The fact is, he’s been signed since like ’95 (When I was pushin’ my mother for the new Jordan kicks) and he’s only released one LP and remains unrecognized...

Enter 2002’s Beautiful World, his first effort where he steps from behind the scenes and gives you the face. Everybody remembers this crazy white dude pedaling the 10-speed through the streets of Manhattan on “When I Get You Alone.” Aside from all that, dude’s really got talent, as the album opens up with “Oh Shooter” (Prior to it being your favorite track on The Carter II) then moves on to “Suga Mama” with his broken delivery and the funky breakdowns as he paints the vivid picture of a pretty bad bitch who really knows what she’s doing (“Bought me a pound // And she rolls...”). “The Stupid Things” gives you a painfully truthful look at relationship shortcomings as he laces the piano (“Yes I recall // Skipping our breakfast to play basketball...”). “I’m a Be Alright” delivers that feel-good, Marvin-esque feel a la 1976s I Want You, but it’s still Robin with lines like “ All of my bills are pilin’ cause I spent what I owe // I wasn't invited to any parties, so I'm throwing my own... “ Probably my favorite from the album, “Lazy Bones” hits with progressive strings, lagging hi-hats and a tuba on the chorus (“Fuck the future, I’m in the present plague // Can’t be a loser, my girl won’t stay... ”). He closes the LP with a little social commentary on “Cherry Blue Skies,” as his voice controls the track, and not vice-versa...because “Everything’s a struggle // but freedom’s worth a fight.

Okay, maybe I got a few ideas as to why Thicke hasn’t caught on yet (Industry Rule #4080 comes to mind). I’ll be the first to admit that his subject manner isn’t exactly the real shit you’ll get from an Anthony Hamilton. From jump, they’ve been comparing Thicke to Remy Shand or Jay Kay, but I don’t see why he’s gotta be compared anyway. Some people aren’t too fond of the whole cultural crossover idea, with a blue-eyed, blonde-haired white guy doing R&B, but you gotta admit that he’s got soul AND his simple lyrics might be laughable at times, but it’s all part of what he does. I’d say his songwriting is top tier for present-day R&B and challenge you to drop a name or two (Check the liner notes of a Brian McKnight, Usher or Mary J. Blige LP, and you might see dude...). Maybe some can’t get into his lightweight voice, but you can’t deny his range and versatility, and that’s just off one LP...

Maybe my tastes are outdated, but this is talent, bottom line. Now, four years after his debut, he’s teamed up with Skateboard P and the Star Trak imprint to release his next LP, The Evolution of Robin Thicke with a few Neptunes tracks...namely “I Wanna Love You Girl,” and it’s the same old penmanship (“ And now my life is sweeter than berries // I guess if we have sex, our love’ll turn to wine... “). So, maybe he won’t be the next big thing, but I honestly think he’s the next best thing to the genre. I can guarantee that Thicke hasn’t stopped writing in the wind, and if the promotion is right, and Pharrell / Thicke arrange the album like it should be, The Evolution... will probably be one of the best R&B releases in a while...No bullshit...


robin thicke - beautiful world

Peace

DonCarter

Contributing Writer/Official Co-D



Single Shots...

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Rick Ross - "Nike Airs & Crisp Tees"

Method Man ft. Lauren Hill - Things they say

Props to DENEIRE

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