Chris Brown has a tumultuous relationship with his fans – spoken as a fan. His music and professional level dance moves keep me coming back, even though as a strong young woman, I don’t support some of the things he has done in his personal life.
This is further discussed in a Glee episode dedicated to Chris Brown and whether it was OK to like him – confirming that I have valid mixed feelings.
In 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna and was sentenced to five years’ probation and six months of community service. Violence against women should never be tolerated, and it hasn’t been by many who feel this act was enough to disregard his music.
I myself have continued to listen regardless, and have been rewarded with some great music. F.A.M.E.’s track list is sexy, fun and exciting. It marked a more grown up sound for Brown and also catered towards a pop crowd as well as his usual R&B addicts.
It seemed that others agreed and F.A.M.E. debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, Brown’s first number-one album in the US. The album received three Grammy Award nominations, winning Best R&B Album.
Brown started his music career when he was 16, and his self-titled debut album reached number two on the US Billboard 200. His debut single Run It made it to the top of the Billboard 100 – the first male artist to do so since 1997. His second album Exclusive had the huge song Kiss Kiss, his second number one as well as hits Forever and With You. His third album Graffiti was released in the same year of the assault and didn’t make a big splash because of it. F.A.M.E. is Brown’s fourth album, and the acronym stands for “Forgiving All My Enemies” and “Fans Are My Everything”.
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Brown is joined on F.A.M.E. by several big name artists including Kevin McCall, Tyga, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Justin Bieber, Benny Benassi, Wiz Khalifa, Timbaland and Big Sean, making the offerings world class.
The album’s big single Yeah 3x was a changing point for Brown, heading in a dance anthem direction. It was family friendly and a step in the direction of electro pop, proving that this genre is another feather in Brown’s cap. The other two big singles were Look at Me Now featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne, and Beautiful People, another dance track this time with Benny Benassi.
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But looking past the singles list, F.A.M.E. has a number of smooth and addictive R&B tracks that I can play over and over again without tiring from them. Deuces featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall is one of the top tracks, and is essentially a break up song – but is rhythmic and addictive. She Ain’t You uses a sample of a Michael Jackson’s song of the same name, and is musically again, very addictive. Up To You and No BS are passionate and sexy tracks, and his duet with Justin Bieber Next To You is romantic and sweet.
There’s a lot to love on F.A.M.E. and even going back to this album now, it hasn’t aged. In my opinion, his singles out now seem to be trying to capture this F.A.M.E. superiority, and with an album out soon, we’ll have to see if Brown has still got his head in the game.
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