After dropping a critically acclaimed self-titled debut album in 2005 that was deeply rooted in R&B, CHRIS BROWN was quickly given the daunting task of spearheading a new generation of a genre that houses such greats as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. In 2008, though, Brown released “Forever” – his first real venture into crossing over into the mainstream and the pop/dance/electro hit shot him into superstardom. Many felt this success signified the end of his career as an R&B artist and haven’t given him much acknowledgment in the genre since. I feel like this debate will always be relevant because Michael Jackson is considered one of the greatest of all time and he’s deemed The King of Pop yet his name is thrown in plenty of R&B conversations; Brown has traveled a similar path but is slandered constantly whenever he’s nominated at award ceremonies in the R&B categories.
God forbid he actually win an award, but he did in 2012 when he snagged the Grammy for Best R&B Album for 2011’s F.A.M.E. and beat out El Debarge, Ledisi, Kelly Price and R. Kelly. People said Chris hasn’t been R&B since he first came out and that he shouldn’t claim the genre at all; I think that’s extremely unfair especially considering his catalogue is full of R&B gems that are hidden for some reason – until now. With his sixth album, X, slated for a summer release Chris has said that this album will revisit the vibe his debut effort held and many are skeptical that he’s able to pull this off.
So much music has been recorded but the masses have never gotten to hear them for whatever reason. Industry politics are a bitch but I’m here to bring the best of the best from CB’s resume so you’re not so lost out there – here we go!
10.) “Submarine” (2010) – A song that has him recounting where he went wrong to make his woman walk away, Chris spoke his heart and he spoke it to a jazzy, shoulder bopping beat that, if performed live, would have his feet moving in some way. No rapping, no cursing – just a voice and a beat. That’s what R&B is and “Submarine” displayed just that.
9.) “Calypso” (2012) – This Polow Da Don-produced promotional single was released ahead of Brown’s fifth LP Fortune in the summer of 2012 and was the lowkey cookout song for the scorching months. With backing vocals that were strongly reminiscent of a Mike Jackson in his prime, Brown had no problem enticing young ladies to just give into him and his harmless advances. He just wants to find out what you like, girl.