Robin Thicke is thirst personified; no matter how many times you try to quench it, it keeps coming back, begging for more of your time and attention, no matter the nuisance. In the new music video for his Max Martin “comeback” single, “Back Together” — a deceptive title if you listen to the lyrics, as he means “put me back together,” not, as it suggests, “let’s get back together, Paula, I’m so sorry I made an album about you and named it after you” — he keeps it up, schmoozing around a house and a pool as Nicki Minaj twerks and gyrates around him. Here are some questions we have about the proceedings:
1. How much did Nicki Minaj demand to be paid to show up on both the track and in its video? Though they’re no strangers to working together (2009’s “Shakin’ It 4 Daddy”), Minaj jumping on a 2015 Thicke track is the equivalent of your friend offering you the last bite of his ice cream cone but when you take it, there’s a sad, lukewarm puddle of brownish liquid at the bottom and nothing more.
2. How much did Max Martin — who has now topped the Billboard Hot 100 21 times — demand to be paid to try to salvage Thicke’s “two-day-old bread that the salad bar down the block from you is hawking as croutons” career?
3. Has Thicke not learned his lesson about his public perception as a misogynist? Did someone install Self Control on his MacBook that blocks all forms of social media and music commentary?
4. Is the lyric “I’m an addict” an actual spot of self-aware commentary, playing on his struggles with substance abuse, or is it another in a string of inexplicably bad musical decisions?
5. Who told Thicke he looks good in a fedora? Who told most men that wear fedoras they look good in fedoras?
“Back Together” is a music video that exists. Your eyeballs can see it below.