(Photo: Vibe Magazine, Summer 2013)
VIBE is celebrating its 20th anniversary and to mark the milestone, the iconic magazine has roped in Robin Thicke and Janelle Monae to grace the cover. The superstars both rock black and white suits, Monae looking glamorous while Thicke looks as suave as ever. In their joint interview, the pair talks about transcending stereotypes and racial barriers and carving their own paths through R&B.
"I think what Janelle and I represent is boundary-less music," Thicke says. "There is no one way to define her or what she does. And if you listen to my album, it's the same thing. Sometimes I'm rockin' out, sometimes it's soul, sometimes there's some bossa nova. Her and I are products of the generations of funk, soul, rock 'n' roll — and then hip hop coming into the mix — all becoming what this new generation is. We don't want to be defined. We don't want to be pigeonholed."
Indeed, the two are reaping success for doing their own thing. Thicke has blurred the lines that once divided the genres mentioned above. Monae not only exudes uniqueness through her style, but her sound is also a crossover hit where it's nearly impossible to sit her in a box and expect her to stay there. Her upcoming album, The Electric Lady, is sure to be a success with legendary names like Prince making appearances. Thicke also noted the beauty of music today: that it can transcend racial barriers that existed in the past.
"In the history of American music, Black radio and white radio were segregated. But once everybody had rights…and white people are on the cover of VIBE and Black people on the cover of Rolling Stone, there are no more rules and that's how it should be. We shouldn't be judged by our color or one song that we made."
VIBE celebrates its 20th anniversary with the release of three separate covers featuring Robin Thicke and Janelle Monae, Nas and J. Cole and Pharrell Wiliams and Daft Punk.
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