The Case AGAINST Chris Brown

Chris Brown, Royalty © RCA

Chris Brown fans won’t like this, so if you’re one of those types, exit now – or find a different article (preferably here at that tickles your fancy. Again, to reiterate, if you have a thing for Breezy, this article is NOT for you. Okay, disclaimer disclaimed…proclaimed? Okay, enough rambling!

Personally, in my humblest of music critic’s opinion, Chris Brown’s artistry has waned. Yes, there is a case against the R&B singer who was once a hot commodity ARTISTICALLY. He’s still hot – or so his female fans of all ages would opine – but as an ARTIST, he’s in a rut.

Now, I’m going to play devil’s advocate against the bold aforementioned hypothesis that’s actually not so bold or far-fetched. How is a ubiquitous artist like Chris Brown possibly in a rut? He’s on everybody’s joint! Okay, I’ll now support my assertion and rebuttal the argument of the opposition – this is getting freaking nuts, right?

Chris Brown is quite popular, as his supporters will be quick to state such as they should. Having listened and reviewed a number of R&B and hip-hop albums, it was rare to find an album where he wasn’t a collaborator. He’s definitely not hurting for employment and he deserves jobs – he has a fantastic voice. His popularity and his instrument aren’t part of this case against Brown – it’s his approach that has him in an artistic rut. He’s pigeonholed himself, or been pigeonholed – whichever comes first. (BTW, are you sick of the prominent use of dashes yet?)

Basically, anytime I see Chris Brown featured on a track with someone else, I’m often turned off. Maybe it’s not quite an eye-roll-able turn off, but part of me just wants to groan like “UGH, AGAIN!” No, it’s not because I don’t like him or I have a problem with his personality (NOTE: I don’t care for his persona but that’s unimportant here), but because it’s predictable. Basically, Brown seems to do nothing different musically or thematically on these collaborations or his albums. It’s always about hip-hop excess – drugs, sex, and boatloads of profanity.

The old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but in an industry where timeliness is key, won’t a static Brown eventually fade? Likely yes – everybody only has a certain period of time in the limelight as a truly lucrative force. Even now, you could question Brown’s lucrativeness compared to the earlier portion of his career (Chris Brown’s prolonged success, Exclusive and F.A.M.E.). Why doesn’t he switch things up?

Here’s my latest disappointment with Mr. Brown: Royalty. After a despicable collaborative album with Tyga (Fan of a Fan: The Album), on his latest solo album, Brown had the chance to show newfound maturity beyond the excess. He artwork with a picture of him holding his daughter, so it would seem perhaps his album will reflect him taking responsibility. That’s not the case. On Royalty Brown is up to his old tricks, dropping excessive f-bombs and clumsy sexual references. R. Kelly he ain’t!

So to sum up, the case against Chris Brown is being too comfortable. Artistically showing more range, especially considering his vocal gifts, would definitely make more people respect him. For an image as tarnished as his, he needs all the accolades he can get. Stone me if you wish, but you know it’s true – Breezy sings about the same thing time and time again!

Next victim…err on to the next article!

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