Sixteen-year-old Chris Brown steps onto the podium as teen artist of the moment this week with the release of his self-titled Jive debut. Already, the Scott Storch-produced first single “Run It!” is in its second week as the chart-topper on the Billboard Hot 100.
In addition to Storch, the album teams Brown with the Underdogs, Cool & Dre, Bryan-Michael Cox and Jazze Pha, among others. “I’m 100% ready for this,” says Brown, a Tappahannock, Va., native. “I know I’ve got a long way to go. But hopefully for me it will be a long run.”
Though Brown’s sweet songs are set up to appeal to a young female fan base, the narratives are mature enough to sway some older folks. The singer plays the sweet-talker on tracks like “Your Man Ain’t Me” and “Is This Love,” while the Storch creation “Gimme That” (much like “Run It!”) diversifies the ballad-heavy album.
Jive Records senior VP of urban marketing and promotion Larry Khan says there was not a conscious effort on the label’s part to find a teen artist, even though it has previously struck platinum with such teen acts as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and ‘N Sync. “We just found something special and potent, and he happened to be 16,” Khan says.