The countdown to the Dec. 18 release of Chris Brown’s new album Royalty began in earnest at Hyde Sunset last night (Dec. 15). The intimate Los Angeles venue was the locale for an invite-only listening party on behalf of the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter’s latest RCA project. Among the special guests spotted in the house were Usher, French Montana and Real 92.3 Los Angeles morning personality Big Boy.
Sporting a San Francisco 49ers jacket, jeans and a maroon cap, an enthusiastic Brown let Royalty — named after his year-old daughter — do all the talking. Stationed inside a banquette at the front of the room, the singer alternately snapped off some signature dance moves and mouthed song lyrics as various tracks were played.
Featuring a generous mix of R&B, hip-hop, pop and dance influences, Royalty includes earlier-released singles “Back to Sleep,” “Liquor” and “Zero.” Among other tracks garnering the strongest reaction from the dancing audience: “Wrist” featuring Solo Lucci (whose video was unveiled Dec. 15), the uptempo “Picture Me Rollin’,” dance/pop “No Filter” and the mid-tempo “Who’s Gonna (Nobody).”
Next up in the countdown to Dec. 18: Brown’s concert at the Masonic in San Francisco tonight (Dec. 16). It’s the second of three Royalty live concerts announced earlier this month. Preceded by the first show at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom on Dec. 13, the final stop will be Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium on the album’s day of release.
Royalty is the follow-up to Brown’s sixth studio album, 2014’s X. Featuring the hits “Loyal” and “New Flame,” the project debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200.