Just when you think Chris Brown has nothing else stupid and/or shameless in his arsenal, the singer pulls out another doozy.
The pop/R&B singer posted a message on saynow.com (I’m not even gonna bother to link to it), complaining about the lack of support he’s getting from radio and telling his fans “it’s in your power to bring me back”. “I can’t be an underground mixtape artist”, he moaned. As I mentioned in last week’s Chartstalker column, Chris’s third CD, “Graffiti”, is in danger of falling off of the Billboard charts after only three months of release. To date, it has sold a shade under 300,000 copies-a far cry from his first two albums, both of which went multi-platinum.
First of all, dude, stop whining. There’s a lot of more talented R&B singers out there who would kill to sell 300,000 records. What makes you special? What galls me more than anything else is the sense of entitlement that he has. If you’re in the music business for the love of music, why can’t you be an “underground mixtape” artist? There are plenty of artists that have had devoted followings for years in just about every genre imaginable that make a fine living without selling millions of records or anything approximating millions of records. You wanna not be an “underground mixtape” artist? Put in some work, fool. No one’s going to have any sympathy for an “artist” (I use that term loosely) who’s been as popular and commercially successful as you.
And who’s to say “Graffiti” would have been a smash even without the presumed backlash from the assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna? Granted, I’m sure there are radio and television outlets that aren’t exactly being supportive, but most folks don’t care what you do-it’s about supply and demand. If customers are willing to pay for the product-no matter what it is-retailers will bring it in. If listeners make enough of a stink to want to hear the music-they’ll play it. He got his chance-radio was relatively kind to “Graffiti”‘s first single, “I Can Transform Ya”-it peaked at a respectable #11 on the R&B chart and hit the Top 20 on the pop chart. MTV and BET had no problems playing the video. I don’t listen to the radio a hell of a lot, but I can tell you that in a three hour drive over Christmas last year, I heard “I Can Transform Ya” and “Crawl” at least three times on Sirius’s contemporary R&B/hip-hop station.
Honestly, I’m not even sure the assault affected his sales all that much. I was reading an entry on Wikipedia earlier today that jogged my memory about something: remember when Dr. Dre beat up Dee Barnes back in 1991? Granted, Dre wasn’t as popular then as Chris Brown was last year, and Dee Barnes certainly isn’t as well known as Rihanna, but both were well known within the hip-hop community. Not only did Dre beat her up, but he was fairly remorseless and dismissive of the whole event. Six months later, NWA had the #1 album in the country. The bottom line is that you can fuck up and people will still buy your record. R. Kelly (allegedly) gave golden showers to little girls and TAPED that shit! Didn’t stop “Chocolate Factory” from selling 2 million copies.
Even if some of Brown’s fans defected after “the incident”, who can blame them? I was never really a Chris Brown fan to begin with, so it’s not like the incident affected me one way or the other. But seriously. How does your thought process work when you beat the shit out of your girlfriend-who, incidentally, is JUST AS FAMOUS AS YOU-the night of a major awards show where you’re both scheduled to perform, and not expect some blowback? And then whine and expect people to feel sorry for you? Sure, people make mistakes and deserve to be forgiven, but that doesn’t mean that the mistake should be forgotten. If I was in his shoes that night, even if Rihanna started the fight, I would have just been lick (slams on brakes) “What? Get the fuck out of the car!”. Even if I was going to raise my hand to a woman (which I wouldn’t), if I was a 20-year old celebrity, I would at least think of the potential damage to my reputation even if I didn’t have enough sense to bounce before things got physical. The fact that this thought didn’t seem to cross Chris’s mind is a little alarming. Sorry bruh-I can’t and don’t have any sympathy for you, and I don’t think anyone in their right mind should.