Chris Brown’s fifth studio album Fortune arrives July 3, promising counter-intuitive song titles (“Don’t Judge Me“) and the strength to fight your darkest of demons. A naturally gifted performer with a history of violent outbursts, many washed their hands of Brown back in 2009, the year he was found guilty of beating then-girlfriend Rihanna before the Grammy Awards, bringing a very real and very ugly problem to the forefront of popular culture. Through this, Brown’s dedicated Team Breezy members have steadfastly remained by his side, earning a Ph.D in how to brush off “the haters,” while others have labeled him music’s most troubled sociopath.
With more than one public freak-out and several regrettable tweets, Brown hasn’t made it easy on his followers or even casual music fans over the years. Despite a 2012 Grammy Award win and not one but three prime-time performances, is it possible to separate the personal from the professional when it comes to Chris Brown? Can the public accept a so-called “comeback” more than once, or should we all take the Liz Lemon approach and reject his presence in mainstream pop culture entirely?
As we’ve done with the similarly topsy-turvy careers of Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera, Popdust has taken a closer look at the life of Chris Brown, in order to better prepare for next week’s release. Recall his emergence as a Virginia-born talent and Billboard record holder, and relive his scary transformation into a convicted felon and magnet for controversy. He’s only 23-years-old, and yet, it feels like we’ve been praising, chastising and searching for ways to defend him for years. Who knows what’s to come?
For PART 1: “Run It!” and signs of America’s next triple threat, click NEXT