The 'Birthday Cake' Remix Producer Gives His Take on the Controversial Collaborations
Commemorating her 24th birthday with a rash of widespread controversy, Rihanna finally unveiled her "Birthday Cake" remix, featuring Chris Brown, online on Monday night (Feb. 20), just as Brown simultaneously released his "Turn Up The Music" remix featuring his former flame. Although some ( including Billboard.com) have questioned Rih and Breezy's decision to musically reunite three years after getting into a violent altercation before the 2009 Grammy Awards, production maestro The-Dream, who helmed Rihanna's "Birthday Cake" remix, doesn't believe that the collaborations should be judged against the former couple's unseemly past.
"For me, it's just music -- two talented people doing a record together, doing two records together, and that's what it was," The-Dream (real name: Terius Nash) tells Billboard.com. "It wasn't about an incident that happened. The true thing really is to forgive, and… you want to believe in people."
The-Dream -- who is currently readying his own album, "The Love IV: Diary of a Mad Man" -- says that the "Cake" remix was finished barely a week ago, after a 78-second version of the song appeared on Rihanna's sixth studio album, "Talk That Talk," in November.
"It was Rih's idea," says the producer. "Not only do we work together, but [Rihanna] is a friend of mine. And it's like, 'You wanna do something? Then cool, let's do it.' I don't know how she got the logistics and how it happened -- maybe she'll talk about it one day. I showed up at the studio, and it was like, 'All right, cool, let's finish this record,' which we probably should have finished the first time we did it."
Before the release of "Birthday Cake (Remix)" and "Turn Up The Music (Remix)," Rihanna proclaimed on Twitter, "I'm so solid as a rock, they just can't stop me now!" As the pop superstar's friend and longtime collaborator, The-Dream says that Rihanna's fans should accept her collaboration with Brown as a positive example of forgiveness.
"I think [the topic] that should be more on the tongues is: how do we proclaim to be a nation of forgiving, and we go by all of these rules and everything, but we can't actually do it?" he says. "It actually makes you look weaker than your adversary -- if you don't have the power to forgive, but you lie and say that you did.
"Because this is about her," The-Dream continues, of Rihanna. "If she can forgive, that's where she is mentally. As a friend, it's like, 'Okay, cool. Let's roll.'"