An Open Letter to Chris Brown: Act Your Age
In light of the widespread reports that Rihanna and Chris Brown were teaming up on the remix of her "Birthday Cake" track, we (The Juice's Erika Ramirez and Assistant Editor Jason Lipshutz) decided to compose open letters to each the Barbadian pop singer and controversial R&B star. Read our message to Chris Brown below, and click here to check out our message to Rihanna.
Dear Chris Brown,
Sweet baby Jesus.
Faint whispers laced with your name emerged when people realized you would be attending -- and performing -- at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards along with your ex-girlfriend, pop singer, Rihanna. The same award's show which three years ago you were scheduled to perform, but didn't, because of a violent assault that changed both of your lives. And unfortunately, brought us to this place, this letter.
Grammy night arrived on Sunday, Feb. 12. Whispers were no longer whispers. Full-formed doubts and questions resonated loud through people's timelines and favorite blogs after you won for Best R&B Album. "Did he deserve the win?" "Have we forgiven him?" "Have we forgot?"
Did you deserve to win? Yes. It's undeniable that you've polished your artistry with every project, despite your indiscretions. You're a talented singer, songwriter, dancer and to be honest you can rap better than some well-known rappers. You triumphantly returned with revealing synth-heavy album "F.A.M.E." which marked your first Billboard 200 No. 1 album. Your name resonated louder than the other nominees.
Rihanna herself said she was glad to see you "succeed again." But as you know, in this universe we call the music industry, hate rings louder in people's ears than love.
Have we forgiven you? Some have, some haven't. Have we forgotten? No. Never will, sadly. Which is why you'll be an artist oft-maligned, specifically pertaining to those two questions.
But my concerns are your habitual stunts of anger. You don't let us forgive and not turn back.
One minute you're crying at the closing of a Michael Jackson tribute at the 2010 BET Music Awards and the next you're throwing chairs out the "Good Morning America" window. One minute you're grabbing your first Grammy for your first No. 1 album. The next you're cursing everybody and their mothers on Twitter AND reportedly saying it was someone who controls your tweets. Really?
You can't get mad at us for not forgetting. It happened, it's written. But when you get aggressive and act out, what do you think people are going to reference? For every person that is waiting for your fall, there are those cheering for you to win, but it's hard for those who want you to thrive because when you take one step forward, you inevitably take two steps back.
Take a note from Jay-Z's words to Kanye West, in your own song coincidentally, "Deuces," "But I won't get my drama on/ What I'm dealing with is too real for me to comment on/ Jay finally got it through my head not to run my mouth/ So when y'all talking about you know who/ I don't know who you talking 'bout," 'Ye rhymed.
Write it down on iNotes, Evernote… wherever but not Twitter.
As much as we like to quote 2pac, people judge. We're imperfect and carry insecurities of our own. Which is why many believe you deserve a second chance. We know, as you have also admitted, what happened three years ago was disturbing, heartbreaking and simply unjustifiable. Yet, you're growing, learning and bettering as an artist. Personally? That's for you to show us. And recently it's as if you don't care to.
As for your rumored reunion with Rihanna, personally and professionally? Why don't you stroll through Billboard Editor, Jason Lipshutz's open letter to her right here.
All the best,
The Juice's Erika Ramirez.