COMMENTARY: IF IT WERE ME – Chris Brown’s “Graffiti”

NOTE: This is NOT a personal attack on CB whatsoever; I’m one of the biggest fans of his there is without being crazy fanatical. I just think his people could have handled a few things a bit differently, so don’t go runnin’ saying that I’m talking shit about him. Tell his people I’m talkin’ about them though!

Back in November of 2009, Chris Brown took the first major step in rebuilding his career…by releasing a full length LP entitled Graffiti. We all know what took place months beforehand, so we won’t go into that. What we will get into is HOW his music career was handled as a result of all this.

Personally, I feel like Jive left him to fend for himself and he did what he thought was the right thing for the sake of his sanity. I never heard anyone from the label speak out on his behalf and that had me low-key sick about this situation. Although I do think it got to a point that since Chris does have so much say-so in his dealings that they let him do what he felt was right and rocked with him.

Which is fine but releasing an album in the midst of such public turmoil was NOT the smartest thing to do.

Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing about Graffiti and here’s why:

Chris’ biggest single to date, “Forever”, was released as part of a repackage of his 2007 sophomore album Exclusive. The song was intended to spearhead a new direction he intended on pursuing and it obviously launched his pop crossover success. He’d been talking about Graffiti for a good minute and I could feel that it would continue what “Forever” started.

Where he messed up was he went overseas to tour [and love…] and it may have caused him to take his eye off the prize for a second.

I think that if he’d released Graffiti in the last quarter of ’08, he would have been good money: the Wrigley’s campaign was still going strong and “Forever” was getting steady radio play as well. The stage was set; Jive just waited too long.

Everybody was all shocked when they heard the heavy techno influence on Graffiti but they failed to realize that this was what he’d planned this entire time. It was just a little late, that’s all.

Despite what many may say, the album is awesome and had it been released in 2008, I think more people would have been open to his transition. Of course, that being said, if it had dropped then who’s to say that most of those songs would have even existed and the emotion within the songs is what made the album so great.

It’s one of those things where at the time you’re making decisions, you feel you’re doing the right thing and you hope for the best but if timing and circumstances were different, there’s always that “what if” factor involved.

It’s definitely a tough issue to tackle, but Chris did what he felt was right. His team, though, should have been a little more hands-on in the brainstorming department besides making the boy delete his Twitter and other frivolous shit like that.

Seriously, your artist’s career is at stake: him getting emo every now and then wouldn’t have hurt anybody. Timing is everything, people.

I will add quickly that, as impossible as this may be, I think that Chris’ ticket to the top would be for him to open himself up to the public. On his own terms, of course, and I HATE to throw this out there because he’s vowed several times that he’d never do it but…

A reality show would help.

Not anything crazy, and it could even be a web series but something that humanizes him not to his fans -and not even to the haters out there- but for those who are teetering on that line between “Should I” or “Shouldn’t I”. You’d be surprised at who supports you once they see where you’re coming from.

The stans may agree with me and the fans who are looking out for his best interests may not; I’m just saying what I think would work but I’m just a consumer, so what do I know? This is just if it were me…

P.S. “Takers” is awesome; go see it if you haven’t already. I got you, Chris, no matter what you decide to do next.

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One thought on “COMMENTARY: IF IT WERE ME – Chris Brown’s “Graffiti”

  1. PrettieBirdie says:

    I totally agree with you Steph! You know that I absolutely loved Graffiti! It was an awesome album and could have been considered a classic if it hadn’t been released during such a turbulent time for him. I def do think if it was released earlier more people would have been receptive of the direction it was going. It doesn’t take away from the craftsmanship of the album for me though. It’s on point and there is no denying that. I actually do think a reality show of some kind could work for him. He does need to open up to his fans. I think there are more people out there rooting for him than he knows. He needs to talk to and touch his fans and let the haters see things through his eyes cause you know they will be watching. That’s the problem with haters they are soooo vocal for no apparent reason, lol! His team needs to step their game up because they are doing him a disservice so far.

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