Chris Brown “New Flame” Ft. Usher & Rick Ross
Chris Brown is the latest in a long history of compelling and polarizing male R&B artists, joining the likes of Al Green, James, Brown, Marvin Gaye, and R. Kelly. While CB has more work to do to match the discographies of the aforementioned legends, but the discourse, controversy, and general baggage that is juxtaposed to their prodigious talents forces any discussion of these artists to be accompanied with a personal asterisk, as if the man is inextricably linked to the music. In this age of social media and blog journalism, Chris Brown has a microscope, binoculars, and a telescope trained on him at all times. And this comes with good reason; Chris Brown is a fucking mess. But he’s an exceptionally talented and charismatic mess. How else can you explain a woman batterer make a song ruminating on disloyal bitches and hoes? And what’s even messier than that? The song made it to #9 on Billboard’s Top 100. And look in any shower, any car, or any club (strip or otherwise), and you’ll see and hear scores of females scream-singing the hook. R.Kelly must be smiling from a playground. So how does Chris Brown follow up on the new ‘hoes ain’t shit’ anthem? “New Flame.” Bust out Usher and a shirtless Rick Ross, shoot an incredibly beautiful music video for a song about new love. This dude is a genius. His singles are a one-two punch of mixed signals. This is why women still love Breezy. He gives them that bad boy attitude and spectre of violence, only to croon and coo about the joys of new relationships. Chris Brown keeps women on their toes with the never-ending proposition of hope. “I hope he doesn’t hurt me,” buttressed by “I hope he’s thinking about me.” The takeaway is that Chris Brown is an evil genius and women are screwed up in the head… but we already knew this. And we already know that “New Flame” will be on top the charts and women will be scream-singing it, and Chris Brown will do something stupid. History always seems to repeat itself.