What Happened? Why Despite His Nonstop Controversy And Penchant For Foolery, I Still Want Chris Brown To Win

January 31, 2013  |  


I can remember when I first got my hands on a Chris Brown CD. I hadn’t actually asked for it, nor had I bought it for myself, but rather, it was a gift from a classmate who knew that an impending trip out of the country was keeping me and my family from exchanging Christmas gifts. Since we were becoming closer thanks to an excruciating economics project, she wanted to make sure I received something–and the gift was Brown’s debut album. “Run It” was cool, and “Yo! (Excuse Me Miss)” was my cut, but my expectations were low. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the back to back JAMS that album had, as well as the young boy’s ability to really entertain you and be charming at the same time (see all of his interviews pre-2009). Back then, his voice wasn’t the strongest thing I’d ever heard, but it was growing, and I liked him.

Well, that album was a hit, and Brown went on to be something like the boy-next-door who all the women wanted their daughters to date, and all the daughters were drooling over (especially since he started getting a bit more naughty with songs like “Take You Down”). I was an especially big fan, buying his sophomore album, Exclusive, fanning myself at how much he had grown, and trying my best to imitate his dance moves at college parties. And he was on top. Some were going as far as to say that he would be the next MJ, and with Usher on daddy duty, Breezy was now the go-to R&B dude. But then he started dating Rihanna. And we know what happened after that.

From then on, Brown and his image went downhill.

He became something like a pariah instead, and no matter how many apologies he issued in statements, on camera and on Larry King, people weren’t buying it. The picture had been seen, the account of the violence had been read. And when Rihanna finally came out and spoke about the incident, right before the release of his third album, Graffiti, and her own highly anticipated album, Rated R, the damage was done, and to many, Brown’s career was kaput. But his fans, TeamBreezy, the very devoted but often irrational and even crazed group of people, stood by him, bought his music, and helped him revive his career, even taking it to new heights when he hit number one on the charts with his recent release, F.A.M.E. He won a Grammy, got to perform at shows many people wouldn’t even invite him to after 2009, and was back on the main stage. He was uphill and you thought he couldn’t do anything but continue to go up and move forward.

So why is he now trying to sabotage all this revived success once again?

I’m not just talking about the whole alleged brawl with Frank Ocean that’s gotten him a broken hand and another run-in with the cops. I’m not specifically talking about the bottle throwing brawl in that janky NYC nightclub last year with Drake. I’m not talking about his choice to get back in where he fits in with Rihanna either. Hey, do what makes you happy. I’m just talking about Chris Brown in general. I’m talking about the way Brown sabotages his body with cigarettes (and maybe something worse), forgetting that he’s a SINGER, and I’ve noticed his performances suffer from his smoking vocally. I’m talking about the fact that he looks like he weighs 100 pounds soaking wet nowadays, with that blonde hair, and that his gaunt-looking body looks like it hasn’t truly rested in months and that it has a tattoo placed almost everywhere possible on skin that looks like it could be pulled off without much effort. I’m talking about how he continues to let two ladies who are supposed to mean a lot to him, and their friends, throw shade at one another on the regular, even if it’s subliminal, and then embarrass them by appearing at events and parties with the other (and don’t even get me started on that confessional video he posted about loving two women). And I’m really talking about why someone who clearly doesn’t have the best relationship with social media would continue to stay on it, and continue to argue with fools who he’ll never please day in and day out, making himself look like a fool too. Twitter, Instagram–all of that ish, has not been very kind to him, and it doesn’t help that he pays attention to th0se who make it their job to let him know that they think he’s the scum of the earth (case in point: the whole Jenny Johnson debacle). But it’s only when he has a newsworhty back and forth with other celebrities and regular trolls that he decides to back away from it all because he thinks he’s being crucified for no reason. I just don’t get it, and that’s what I’m talking about.

But despite what I don’t understand about Chris Brown, and at this point, what I can’t take, is it crazy that I want him to win? I’m so sick of watching truly talented young people do what young people do–make bad decisions–and get turned inside out by people (including some on our website too) for it. I couldn’t deal with the ugly scrutiny myself. And I don’t think we should revel in watching very young people do a Lindsay Lohan as their lives fall apart in front of us. But he HAS to do better. And as someone who I saw with sooooo much potential just a few years back, and every talented bone still sitting in his body now, I just want him to get it together. Stop feeding into the negativity and then dishing it out as a response. Stop letting people rile you up when you know you have anger management issues. Stop answering questions about your past and learn to only push and promote your future. Own up to your part in messiness and stop comparing yourself to Jesus and wondering why people are giving you crap when you still haven’t learned to walk, if not run, away from drama. You can do it young sir, I still have some faith in you because we can all change.

Sure, Christopher Maurice Brown is a mess right now, but at 23, does he not have room and opportunity to grow up and get better? And it’s not up to you or I to “give him a chance” or “forgive him,” but it’s up to him to give himself a chance so that he can nurture the voice and the talents that God gave him, and for once, finally just focus on THAT. Not the foolery.

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  • Chassie

    Has he not exhausted his chances yet? If he really hopes to change, which really doesn’t seem the case, perhaps he should try surrounding himself with different people. he needs a pr miracle at this point, he better callbeyonce’s pr team cuz he needs a miracle

  • Sagittarius81

    I remember that my niece wanted to marry CB when he first came out like 7 years ago, even had posters of him in her room. Now she’s 17 and I asked her the other day “Do you STILL want to marry CB? She said “Aw hecky naw! He gotten ugly and tatted up, plus he smokes blunts, his cuteness went up in flames!”. LMAO!

  • Michiko

    Chris Brown has shown that he doesn’t deserve to win.

  • IllyPhilly

    IMO opinion, I think celebs are the most insecure people ever. They are told what to say, wear, dress, and be about. Child stars have it worse because they definitely have to conform. Chris Brown had tats at 13 and was probably a rowdy kid, but he was told what kind of image he should have to be famous. Now that he’s grown and wants to be his real self ( not saying its a great self) it’s an issue. He needs his real friends and not some industry companionship to get his head right.

  • Ultimately, what we are seeing here is a person, no different than you and I, who has learned that he doesn’t have to deal with the real consequences of his actions. People have commented about his friends, family, mother and the guidance he should be hearing from them. But when you are surrounded by lawyers, advisers, publicists and “industry friends” who tell you to shrug it off, (because a few dollars can get you out of a jam) it will be alright, of course he is going to continue with his reckless behavior. Especially when the same people who tell him it will be ok are the ones getting paid off of his talent.

    It will not be until that one day, he has to deal FULLY with the consequences of his own behavior, like you and I do everyday, that he MIGHT change. Until then, all we can do is pray.

  • KO

    Thank you this is such a well said piece. This boy needs some proper guidance. I hope he gets it together before its too late.

  • I’m 24 and we do make dumb decisions but we will grow and get better. This is the first non hating Chris brown post like ever on MN

    • Michiko

      Correction: “I’m 24 (YOU) and I do make dumb decisions, but I will grow and get better.”

  • Ramal

    If I were light-skinned and handsome, people would root for me no matter what I did, too

    • I agree. I guess I can only dream. He needs to grow up! He has too many resources and opportunities afforded to him. I’m over him and now his music.

    • IllyPhilly

      That skeletor mug is handsome to you? Jailbait CB, oh hell yeah. Cracked out CB *eyes puke*

      • realadulttalk

        I agree–he used to be such a cute little boy. Now he looks like he spent the last 5 years smoking meth. WTF?!?!


    Jay is bad news for Rihanna; Rihanna is bad news for Chris Brown. In all this am trying to find his “innocence” There must be some good in him. He has a lot of negative energy. He needs to meditate and become one with his soul.

  • Faith

    This Chris Brown and Frank Ocean incident is so stupid and immature. You have two grown men fighting over something stupid as a parking space. I think Chris Brown really to take a break from singing and really focus on changing himself IF he want to change. Nobody can make Chris Brown change but Chris Brown. If he surrounds himself around proper people who sincerely want to help him to heal and not be out for his money. Since he made these decisions himself so he can make the decision to change.

    • IllyPhilly

      I agree and I just wanna know why Frank Ocean gets a pass for this?

  • RenJennM

    *standing ovation* This entire article is EXACTLY how I feel. I’m a fan of Chris, but dude needs to wise the hell up! With all that talent he has, I feel like he’s wasting it with all this bullsh**. I also want him to win. I do very much. But he needs to get it together or else I’m not putting another dime in his pocket.

  • &.

    I think he should take time off from the industry. No social media. Focus on getting himself back together ( on an emotional standpoint/ artistry standpoint/mentally) & he needs to understand that those people that keep attacking him want to see him fail so he shouldn’t feed into it. He needs intensive therapy and coping mechanisms.

    • Mary

      He can’t take a break. If Chris were to take a break someone new will come, someone younger who can dance and sing and completely take Chris’ spot. Hopefully someone who will appreciate the opportunity and not take fame for granted. His last album didn’t do well and if he were to take a break his career would be finished. He’s in the same league as Lindsay. They both know that the only way to stay afloat now is to stay in the news for public antics. It’s a last ditch effort to stay afloat in an ever changing industry.

      • But at what cost. Sure, if he takes a break, some new artist may take his spot. If he keeps going, he may be headed for self destruction. Either way, he is in a tough position and needs to consider all options.

      • IllyPhilly

        When’s the last time CB danced and looked good in a video? He wants to be a rapper so he’s making life imitate art. Usher wasn’t acting a fool like this.

  • Robert Trent

    The real ish is, even despite his youth, how many “chances” does he get to have? Seems like if you’re famous you’ll get more than a regular person. Breezy has had plenty of chances & made himself look like a jerk _and_ a fool multiple times. I got better things to do than listen to an autotuned wanna be play out his ratchedness and expect forgiveness &, even worse, loads of money coming his way.

  • bluekissess

    Well written. I’ve been the person cheering him on BUT I can’t do it anymore. He’s getting on my nerves. He wants to be treated like an adult but makes childish decisions. Where is his mom? What are her thoughts? The last time I’ve seen her was on Larry King? I once compared him to MJ but that comparssion is just an embarrassment. MJ was more creative and passionate. Yes, he’s a mess but where are his so called friends? It’s a lot of questions that needs to be answered with this kid.

  • chaka1

    Just remember this. Most responsible 23-year-old black men are about to leave the military, graduate from college, head to grad school, establish their careers, discover themselves, or start families. This is the age when you have the advantages of youth, but you also realize its time for all childish things to end and accept personal responsibility. CB has had every advantage in the world and it has been his misguided choice to waste them. This man-child obviously needs help. Either there is no one in his life with a backbone or he won’t listen to anyone until he completely self destructions.

    • Tyquinn

      I think that is an unfair statement. You don’t know anything about his childhood to say that he has “had every advantage in this world”. You don’t know the financial condition he was brought up in and how that affected the way he processed feedback or how it molded who he is. Don’t forget that he witnessed his mother being beaten among who knows what else. Its not fair to make it seem as though he had some cushy conflict-free life because he worked hard and became rich young. But you are making it seem as though he is just some spoiled rich adult who had a perfect life and just acts up. Also, how can you compare him to anyone else, he has his own life with his own circumstances that made him who he is and he is walking his own path where he will make his own mistakes and his own recoveries to evolve in his time. Stop judging people. Some of these 23-year-old “responsible” black men you are talking about may just have followed the cookie cutter recipe of going to college and aren’t really happy, some of them may be assholes who might just make the world worse, since when did going to school or establishing a career make someone a role model? There are tons of azzholes who graduate from uni and don’t give back to their community, don’t care about anyone but themselves, aren’t trying to make a change in the world and have no character. Most 23 year old men in uni or graduating are out here doing the same thing as him – making mistakes and growing from them. How much personal responsibility do you want him to accept? Dude did his probation, how many times do you want to beat him with the same stick. CB tries to stay out of trouble but it seems people have a problem with him and as soon as he stands up for himself people accuse him of being belligerent or aggressive. Chris Brown worked hard to make it, no one gave him a hand out. He had a mix tape before making it and I once saw on “Run’s House” when one of the (then) young boys were talking about being a performer, Run was tellin them how chris was dancing and singing at a drop of a hat in label offices trying to get a deal. He made it rich at 16 or 17 off of his own effort, that’s commendable and any “responsible 23-year-old- black” man would say f@#$ that degree if they could make it rich at 17. I think people should give dude space to be him and find his way, I don’t see anyone gettin on Tyga for his tattoos, promiscuity and alcoholism, it was said that drake started the fight in the club last year, no one got on drake for that, no one is writing articles about frank ocean after it is now known that he is the instigator and Chris walked away and apparently got hurt. If he walks away he gets ridiculed if he stands up he gets ridiculed. As far as I see it, this dude just gets ridiculed for being young and being like evey other guy his age. If I was him, I would feel like I was being crucified too. Can he live?? Stop putting expectations on this dude and let him live and grow how he needs to. Who says he is going to self destruct just because he isn’t your idea of what a “responsible black man” should be at his age. I hope this dude gets the most love and support from his family and real friends, that what he really needs right now.

      • IllyPhilly

        Damn this was a novel, but I agree.

        • realadulttalk

          I agree it was a novel–can someone give me the Cliff Notes?? I can’t read all that. Lol

      • kierah

        Folks needs to stop giving folks so much daggone space to “live” when it’s clear they don’t know what do with it. I bet you Cissy Houston wishes she invaded her daughter’s space before drugs took her life. I’m not handing anybody any rope to hang themselves with. Sometimes you need to tell folks you care about to get their damn lives!! The public watched and adored this young talented man and that’s why they get on him more than Tyga and Drake. Mainstream media know who he is and they have their eyes on him. He foolishly gives them more ammunition.
        Does it really matter if we talk about Drake, Frank, or Tyga? Chris is the one who beat his girlfriend, he is the one who looks cracked out, he’s the one who called Robin Roberts a “B—-h” and tried to throw a chair out the window, and he’s the one who indulges in numerous fights (both Twitter and physical).
        Can he live? Right now, I’d settle for Chris Brown growing up.
        Love and support is wonderful, but Brown need a loving supportive kick in the pants. He’s slipping and the folks around him shouldn’t let him fall.

        • Tyquinn

          I think it’s ignorant to use facts about the past to give credibility to a negativity laced argument like you are doing in your comment. Yes chris is skinny and kinda looks cracked out, yes ppl had/have high hopes for him, yes he beat his girlfriend a number of years ago (and nobody knows how that fight started). But now what? He did probation and hasnt beaten anyone yet, why you still using that as a valid point in critiquing his current behavior? Thats just bringing up a negative fact to give you argument momentum through an emotional response from a reader, but its not a healthy or progressive way to argue. He called robin roberts a bish because she brought up the incident after they agreed she would not and she pushed it, i watched the interview. He tried to throw the chair through the window because dude was emotionally distraught about it. It may have not been the right response but i can understand how he felt after dealing with the industry and family/personal backlash, court and his personal feelings and then focusing on music and releasing a new album but ppl keep bringing the same thing you payed for up. Thats downright oppression. You think dude wasnt disappointed with himself??! Dude had an emotional breakdown, he was in the streets crying with his shirt off, that wasnt a publicity stunt, he didnt know how to deal with what he was feeling right then. Anyway, I agree with you, he needs to grow up (process his mistakes and apply the lessons – mature) and he may even need a stern talking to about the direction he is heading in from someone who he respects. But helping that young brother doesnt start with throwing every mistake he has made back in his face. Maybe reminding him of them, but there is even a better way to do that. Thats just my opinion.