compartmentalizing Chris Brown’s hits

It’s hard to stay pretty when you’re becoming increasingly bloody and swollen from blows to the face.

Chris Brown’s attack on Rihanna back in February 2009 lost him multi-million dollar record deals, numerous ad sponsors and the respect of millions. His career came to a screeching, unnatural halt at age 19. Two years after a grudging retreat into entertainment exile, he’s back on the charts. May 2011 saw more BET award nominations for Brown than for any other artist. Currently, his new singles are cropping up like too-tight jeans on the local radio stations that I mindlessly hum to during my commute. Except when I realize it’s a Brown production the station is instantly changed. Sometimes I irrationally berate the radio for allowing him airtime.

Rihanna & Brown

past their differences… and Brown’s fists

Is it unfair of me to grade his professional achievements using a personal rap sheet?

What if it was you? You’re a successful, visionary Marketing Director that’s been accumulating a sizable child pornography stash alongside your company accolades. Global sexual exploitation of toddlers and children is nurtured and buoyed by the internet’s lack of physical limits. Is it fair for judgment on an abhorrent personal life to carry over to the professional? Which skeletons can we leave in the dark?

Nobody is perfect. Celebrities survive and thrive under a limelight that is obsessive, all-consuming and incredibly draining. Average Joe’s can stroll around the house naked without much social repercussion (unless someone spotted you). Try doing that with an auto-tuned platinum track under your belt and your photoshopped parts will be strewn across the netscape in minutes. So if your followers number in the millions, watch your privates. The bigger your reach, the higher your social accountability.

“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Voltaire

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2 comments

  1. Chris Brown’s album just got obliterated by critics, and he’s still mocked daily on Twitter and his name will always be synonymous with abuse to lots of people. Unfortunately 14 year olds still buy his shit, and that’s the reason he’s still around and was allowed back on the Grammys, etc. Nothing to do with whether he ‘deserves’ to be exiled. Really good case of people needing to speak with their wallets.

    But yeah, he’s a a d-bag man-child with a giant sense of entitlement, who flipped out and beat on a girl. In lots of people’s view (including me) his behaviour should mean that he forfeits having a position of influence… But he’s rich and a bankable asset for his label (because again, 14 year olds still buy his shit) and the justice he faces is only ever going to be so tough.

    It’s happened before – celebrities disgraced and then allowed to return to the spotlight. Dog the Bounty Hunter was caught on tape making racist comments and immediately his show got cancelled. But less than 2 years later he was back. A&E probably only cancelled the show because they were expected to.

  2. I met a black dude working in the entertainment industry on a flight back from China. He told me that Chris Brown became violent after finding out that Rihanna cheated on him and gave him herpes. HERPES! Not a lot of people know about that.

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