The embattled artist spills on Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson and monsters ...
By Datwon Thomas
JET’s cover story on R&B bad boy Chris Brown is sending shockwaves through the industry. A great deal of coverage has centered on Brown comparing himself to Trayvon Martin and reminding folks that music mogul and White House mainstay Jay Z once stabbed a business associate. (And yes, we see you Wendy Williams.)
But we withheld a few gems from the interview that hit newsstand shelves on Sept. 23.
The DivaGals, our newest entertainment contributors, aired these out on last Friday’s edition of the Gossip Table, which airs weekdays at 9:30 a.m. EST. Check her out right here.
Here they are in full for your online-only review, courtesy of the article’s author, Datwon Thomas.
Brown talks about topics ranging from the media assassination of Justin Bieber to his business relationship with ex-girlfriend Karreuche Tran to why monsters figure so prominently in his artwork. (Hint: In the latter case, it is not what you might suspect.)
ON FINE CHINA AND THE SINGLE’S “MICHAEL JACKSON” FEEL
Chris Brown: My album was supposed to be called Carpe Diem at first and that means seize the day, basically living in the moment and as I was progressing in the studio, I changed it to X, basically being able to be the good guy and the bad guy in people’s eyes on top of that.
So when I came out with the “Fine China” song or the new stuff that I’m doing now, it’s just in a mood. I think we were on auto pilot mode, we were just in the studio and the vibe was there so…the essence of Michael Jackson. My influences over the years have helped me to be the artist I am now.
That’s all I grew up on, being able to watch it and interpret it for my own feel. There are kids now that can watch it and interpret what they need from it and be creative and be themselves. With me, that’s what I try to be now. With “Fine China,” I’m kind of giving them that Michael Jackson and putting in the old moves that Michael would do just to give you that…just so people can remember what real music was and so they can stop going into electronic. There is still real music and real people that are current. I just try to show it and hopefully it can help the next person to strive for their higher goals.
ON JUSTIN BIEBER’S BAD REPUTATION
Chris Brown: Justin’s not a bad kid, I’ve been around him. But if he hangs with too many Black people, “oh he’s hanging with the ni**as, so we’re going to let you go.” That’s strictly what it is. It’s unconscious racism. C’mon, y’all know this s**t is bulls**t. So like at the end of the day, people f**k with people and Justin does great music. He’s still pop, but he hangs with the Black people. I can identify with what he’s going through. People don’t understand certain people, so if they don’t understand you, they automatically hate you. They cancel you out. I’m speaking out now because I really don’t care anymore.
ON HIS BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH EX-GIRLFRIEND KARREUCHE TRAN
Chris Brown: The Kill is hers and The Black Pyramid is all me, but I’m creative director and half owner of The Kill, she’s the other half owner. She basically wanted me to start it off for her so she can go and do whatever she needed to do. So now the stuff is all her, hands on.
Chris Brown: Art is just a definition of who I am. It’s just an artist. I think an artist in general is all about the mind and the capacity to think. My mind doesn’t have a boundary on doubt. I don’t doubt myself or I don’t say I can’t do something because nobody knows what they are fully capable of ‘til they try it.
So with me, I just try to be hands-on with everything I could in life. I live that to the fullest. Like people don’t get a chance to smile or just have fun or make light out of a bad situation, but me, I’m the guy who can always ease my way out, see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t try to disown the art in it because that’s that magic. It’s about how your mind works.
ON THE MONSTER MOTIF IN HIS ARTWORK
Chris Brown: A lot of it is a perception. When I paint these things, people look at it like, “What’s that?” It’s a reflection of themselves being a judgmental person. So it’s almost like what I see in my head as a group of people that aren’t perfect but want to be perfect that would be negative, they are sort of like monsters. That’s what clouds their minds a lot of the times.
So when I paint it, when I draw these monsters, it’s almost like nightmares so to speak. It’s the negativity of the world so when people see it, it’s them looking back at the reflection of themselves whenever they have a negative thought. People are just judgmental so when they’re looking at my paintings, they get to look at themselves, the negative part.
ON DONATING 1,000 GYM SHOES IN COMPTON
Chris Brown: That’s just something that I did, that’s not something I wanted a pat on the back for. Of course, the media was there because we were doing something good in the hood, but that’s just something that I would do. If I can go to the club and spend $30,000 on bottles or alcohol to look fly, then why can’t I go and give some kicks to some kids that really need it?
TO READ OUR ORIGINAL STORY, PICK UP THE LATEST ISSUE OF JET MAGAZINE, ON STANDS NOW.