Dynamic Duet: Is The Rihanna/Chris Brown Collab “Nobodies Business” Good For Their Careers?

November 8, 2012  |  

Rihanna arriving to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show yesterday. Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

It has been confirmed. Rihanna teamed up with Chris Brown — musically — for a track called “Nobodies Business” on her upcoming album, Unapologetic. The album also features collaborations with Eminem, Future and Mikky Ekko. It is set for release on Nov. 19.

So is “Nobodies Business” a good business move? Or will it backfire? We asked a few music industry pros what they thought.

Lee Cadena, owner of  Lee Cadena Management, has been in the business for more than two decades, so he has seen his share of artist controversy. “As an artist manager with a background in marketing/promotions and PR, I can tell you the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation makes for public voyeurism, conversation and scrutiny… all of which equals sales. It pushes tweets, Facebook postings and tickles all social media platforms, which from a business standpoint is great,” says Cadena, who has worked with the likes of  Teena Marie, Snoop Dogg, and Mary J. Blige.

Radio producer/personality Portia Kirkland agrees. “There’s music and then there’s the business. As a music marketer, you think hits, sales, synergy, creativity, but also free expression. Both Rihanna and Chris Brown are highly talented and I believe can create great music together,” she points out.

Loyal fans of both will probably read a message in the music, looking for a deeper meaning from the song. “I don’t see the collaboration disturbing the fan base unless it says ‘we haven’t grown; we haven’t healed; and we are the same couple that we were three years ago’,” Kirkland, who has also worked at 1017 Brick Squad where she handled marketing for French Montana, Nicki Minaj, Waka Flocka, points out. “Their collaboration should be deeper than just having a hot record. I think Rihanna and Chris should send a message to their fans that ‘we’re human, we’ve learned our lesson; and moving forward in a healthier space.’  Music is a powerful platform and Rihanna and Chris should use it to highlight their growth and healing. That’s what classic hits and strong brands are made of — life’s lessons, second chances and change.”

The boldness of the move also continues with the philosophy of Rihanna’s brand—one of a daring and independent artist. “[I]t will work to solidify her independent and unpredictable persona.  I think it’s a good idea because she should not let the public guide or determine her individual choices in life,” notes former record company executive Jackie Rhinehart, who is CEO and president of entertainment marketing firm Organic Soul Marketing. “That plus sex – implied– will sell, sell, sell!”

At the end of the day, however, the music still has to be good. A bad song, no matter how intriguing won’t have staying power. “The controversy may work in the moment and drive people to the record, but is the music good enough for consumers to purchase ten years from now?” says Cadena. “Building a career on quality music is key for catalog sales, which is what you want as an artist. Will it be considered a classic? Doubtful, but only time will tell. Until then, Rihanna… keep ya’ dukes up.”

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  • it’s true, it’s no one’s business. next.

  • York

    I ain’t mad at it. The world is only critical because of their history, but unless you’ve been through it it’s hard to understand the dynamics of their collaborations. If it’s good music, cool…if not, keep that ish. Business is business.

  • 1Val

    For Rihanna and Chris the hits just keep on coming…

  • IllyPhilly

    They make terrible music together. The Umbrella Remix, the birthday cake song, ew. There voices don’t even go together. She was always poppy upbeat music, Chris has some pretty decent R&B music minus this last album.

  • Meyaka

    It isn’t nobodies business,whatever Rihanna… If Chris beat you again I won’t give a hoot,none of my business.

    • IllyPhilly

      Agreed. I always wonder why some people are so hype to see them together.

  • eyeconoic1

    CB is talented, Rihanna, I am not a fan but she has a strong fan base, she just gives me trashy no matter how they dress her up and she cant sing nor dance. I say live and let live. He is a hit maker. He has issues. I hope they have both grown and learned from their past experiences together. But, only time will tell. its nobody’s business that they are together. But, if history ends up repeating itself she will look like a fool. Too me she already does. Your a fool to go back to someone who beat you to a pulp. None of us was in that car to know how things went down. We only saw the end result. Many will say never say never. But, I will never deal with a man who puts his hands on me. Nor would I return for him to receive my good lovin. Too me this situation a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

  • Pretty1908

    Both of them are still young. I say we step back and let them process this on their own. I honestly think they are no good for each other. Chris brown is has deep rooted emotional issues, and Rihanna needs to have a seat. I am fans of both but lately they are just too wild, too high, and too much for me . Wish them the best.