He credits Paula as his muse, so we caught up with the crooner to find out how their marriage shaped the new album, what works for them, and how they keep things so steamy between them. )ESSENCE.com: Being that your music defines romance, how does it feel to know that people are getting married and making babies to your music all the time? It’s nice if you can make someone drop it like it’s hot, or pop a bottle. What I realize about the difference between me and my peers -- you know, Chris Brown and Drizzy Drake and all my musical peers -- is that they haven’t been with the same woman for 18 years and I’ve been with a Black woman for 18 years. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when I’ve got my mojo and my swag, it happens. The lyrics are: “I don’t know how it feels to be you, though I try my best to understand what you’re going through, I don’t know how it feels to be you. THICKE: A lot of mainstream magazines, like SPIN and Rolling Stone, they still don’t get me. I just love the music and I love my wife and she is a strong Black woman, so if my wife doesn’t like it, how can the other Black women like it? ESSENCE: The media often tells Black women that they’re better off dating White guys. To start that rumor is as bad as starting any other negative rumor. ROBIN THICKE: To be a part of your biggest days -- you know your child being conceived or born, or you walking down the aisle -- there’s really nothing sweeter. They can’t figure out how a funny guy with a dad on a sitcom can have a 90 percent Black female audience. In the past, I’d have sought that comfort out in a white man, but that night I knew it wouldn’t be enough.It’s not that I don’t think white people are anxious; two months into Trump’s presidency, most of the white people in my life are activated.White man/black woman pairs don't get as much attention (positive or negative) perhaps because they are less common, at least in America, though the gap appears to be narrowing.South Africa and The USA have had a serious Double Standard when it comes to this gender divide, as a direct consequence of Apartheid and the USA's Jim Crow laws (and slavery before that): many white men had black slave-mistresses, and this practice was generally accepted or at least tolerated.
Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford co-star in Peele's largely mysterious film. ESSENCE: If someone saw you whispering in Paula’s ear, what would you probably be saying? I had no animosity, but I just didn’t understand the Black experience in America and how different it is -- and most White people can’t. I’ve never met a stronger person who stands by their will and their moral values. Ever since I met her and we were 16 years old and she was the president of the Black student union and I was just a silly White boy who didn’t understand or have compassion. Whenever I’m standing on a subway platform, I play this game: I hover near a person I think is cute and try to slowly make my way over to him so we get in the same car. Like most of the girls in my class, I wanted attention from the boys.When we do, I look his way every so often to see if he’s staring back, to see if we’ve got what my best friend and I call “the affinity,” a mutual acknowledgement that we one another. But while they chased after blondes and brunettes, I was ignored. It’s a pretty good way to pass the time from Brooklyn to midtown. I spent my childhood surrounded by black and brown kids, but when I got to high school, suddenly everyone around me was white.