In the profile, the musical multi-hyphenate — who just released his seventh studio LP Royalty, named after his one-year-old daughter — gets deep about his mission to inspire, his views on society in the midst of young black men being targeted by police, and how he discovered he was a father. He also touches on how his rebellion as a kid — his father was a former police officer — seeped into his relationship with his mother, as well as his parenting strategy for Royalty.
See the best quotables from the feature below:
On creative control:
“I think creative control is kind of like the total opposite from me. It’s just freedom. A lot of my doubts — or a lot of the doubts that are put upon us as people or individuals — I don’t funnel that to make my life move. The way I look at it is, I’m fearless.”
On role model versus inspiration:
“It’s not my job to be your role model; my job is to be your inspiration. There’s a difference … You can be that rose in the concrete, or you can be that underdog, or you can be that person that people already cast out, and still be able to maintain and live your life, understand change, and make a difference.”
On his responsibility as a famous, young, black male:
“I’m the general statistic of the young black male: a father out of wedlock, tattoos, sags my pants, hangs with people that would be called outcasts, been to jail, has a criminal record. … If I can complain about the diamonds not being bright enough on my chain or my ring, I should also be fighting just as hard to put somebody else in a house, helping somebody that’s homeless, feeding somebody, showing my concerns.”
On learning he had a daughter:
“I had thought about it. I had saw pictures, and I was like ‘Damn.’ So I asked, and [Nia] was like ‘Nah, it’s not you.’ So I was like cool, I didn’t think it was an issue. But when I found out, it was kind of like, ‘Damn, she looks just like me.’ And I didn’t care about how me and her mother didn’t have a relationship, I didn’t care about any situation. I just wanted to see her. I just wanted to be able to have that opportunity, as something personal to me. I’m not gonna be upset, I’m not gonna be mad. I have to be honest with myself and pick the priorities over the situation. I had to make my priority my daughter.”
Read the full story here; Billboard reached out to Brown’s rep to confirm the VIBE quotes, and did not immediately hear back.