Dear Chris Brown: People Will Get Over You And Rihanna If You Allow Them To Get Over You And Rihanna » VSB

Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Dear Chris Brown: People Will Get Over You And Rihanna If You Allow Them To Get Over You And Rihanna

Hey Breezy. How are you today? I know you didn’t ask, but I’m doing fine. It was cold as balls last weekend in Pittsburgh, but it seems to be warming up, and I’m enjoying this nice fall day. BTW, why do we say “cold as balls”? Aren’t balls typically warm? I mean, even when it’s super cold outside, I at least know my balls will be warm. My balls are like an electric blanket or a Megabus bathroom.

Anyway, I’m not writing to you to talk about testicle heat retention. Instead, I’m going to ask you do to something for me. Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to play the New York Jets. The Steelers are on a roll and the Jets suck, so the Steelers should win, but forget about that. Instead, I want you to focus on the guy who began the season as the backup quarterback to Geno Smith, but is now starting: Michael Vick. I want you to watch the pregame shows when they preview this game. I want you to pay attention to the play-by-play guy and the color guy when they talk about Vick. I want you to scan the crowd for their reactions when Vick does something positive. I want you to listen to the sideline reporter talk to Vick. I even want you to watch the postgame show.

Most importantly, I want you to pay close attention to what none of these people will talk about, mention, hint at, or even allude to. Michael Vick’s arrest, suspension, and imprisonment seven years ago for his role in creating a multi-state dog-fighting.

Now, all of these people — each of the analysts, fans, and reporters — are aware of Vick’s history. They know most of the sordid details, and were likely disappointed in and possibly even disgusted by him. But now, seven years later, he’s just a backup quarterback on a bad team; a past his prime star who still occasionally shows flashes from his past, and he’s treated as such. Granted, there are going to be some people who will just never get past Vick’s past, but they don’t matter anymore. Plus, at this point, there’s nothing he can say or do to sway them, so fuck em. Again, they don’t matter anymore. 

Why don’t they matter anymore? Because there’s just not enough of them left. Why aren’t there enough of them left? Because, since his release from prison, he hasn’t given them anything. No stories about him beating up a cat. No screencaps of him leaving threatening messages on a dog’s Instagram page. No public quotes about why he hates Scooby Doo. He’s also done all of the right things. Supported the right charities, appeared at the right events, been in the right commercials, listened to the right people. He’s distanced himself so much from what happened in 2007 that only the tiny amount of people with enough stamina to care about it still care about it. Most others just stopped caring because he’s given them no reason to continue to care.

Why does this matter? Well, last week, you appeared on Hot 97 and said you think people should be over your assault of Rihanna by now.  You were a kid (19) and this happened several years ago. People should have forgiven you by now.

And, you know what? I agree! You were a kid! This did happen several years ago! And you did face some legal consequences over what happened! Again, you are right! Most people should have forgiven you by now. Or least stopped bringing it up every time you’re being interviewed. But there’s one problem here:

You.

You won’t let people forget about and forgive you for that violent incident because, every other month or so, you do something that reminds people of it. There are too many instances to list. There’s the lightskint brawl you and Drake were a part of that managed to be so wild that it almost ended the career of another lighskint superstar who just happened to be there. There’s your series of unfortunate tweets that someone really needs to be fired over. And, just yesterday (Yesterday!), three days after your plea for people to move on, there’s your Instagram tirade against Adrienne Bailon and Tamar Braxton for their comments about you on The Real — a show I didn’t even know existed until yesterday.

Bailon and Braxton may very well be hypocrites. And Bailon might be “trout-mouthed.” Who knows? What I do know is that a person wanting people to move past his history of antagonism towards women probably shouldn’t be so publicly antagonistic towards women. Because acts like this prove you haven’t really matured and that you haven’t actually gotten past what you want everyone else to get past.

Basically, instead of following Michael Vick’s script, you’re following R. Kelly’s. And no one follows R. Kelly. Unless, of course, they want chlamydia.

Anyway, Breezy, it might not seem like it, but there are a lot of people criticizing you now who actually want to root for you. Who want to see you genuinely changed and matured. Who want to see you finally become a man. Who want to be able to say “You know what? What he did when he was 19 was awful and inexcusable. But, since then, he seems to be sincerely contrite” but can’t because you keep fucking it up. Because everyone — even the most ardent cynics and critics — loves a good redemption story…as long as the protagonist appears to be redeemed.

You don’t have to believe me, though. Just watch the Jets play the Steelers this weekend and see for yourself.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Michelle

    Here’s the thing: I had watched the clip that Chris was angry about…
    …And, to me, Tamar and Adrienne did not say anything that was inflammatory. In fact, I think he directed his anger to the wrong hosts.

    My cousin pointed out to me that Chris may be one of those jacka**es who will go H.A.M. on Black women, if they so much as smirk due to a diss rather than show anger towards the non-black woman, who was the one who had given the insult.

    • Guest

      Adrienne Bailon is black?

      • Baskininhisglory

        she is not black!!! she is Vivre LATINO!! lol lol Bailon is not a blck American name in fact its Spaniard. But she does have African roots/ancestors

        • Kia

          “She’s not black but has african roots” you’re an idiot. Go do some research.

          • Baskininhisglory

            Right! thats what i said… when the public i.e goventment labels balion she isnt considered black … they label her as latino or hispanic….. she does in fact have african roots we alll do from carribbean etc. There are people all over the wold whi have the african diaspora… there was np nerd for you to call me stupid… i merely had a conversation with others thay went well lets continue uplifting and educating instead nashing each other and cussing each other out…. we should stop the cyber bulling if u have something to say… say it….

            • ppppepperann

              I really like the way you handled that. I was expecting ignorance to inspire more ignorance. I don’t understand why many people’s first resort is to name calling just because they don’t agree with what someone says

        • Kia

          And then to say Bailon isn’t a black name….soooooo people are only created by one parent huh? Not to mention the black perez’s and lopez’s i know smh. smh

      • Linda

        No, her parents are from Ecuador and Puerto Rico. She’s full Latina, ethnically. Racially, only she would be able to answer that (as we define our own race based on our opinions).

    • Folasade

      I get what your saying about the overt anger than SOME men have towards black women but I don’t think this is the case here. I think Chris Brown is angry towards ALL women, from his mama to his gfs…like they are all responsible for the bad in his life.

      • LadyIbaka

        He better hurry up and propose to Karrasomebody because she seems to be in it till the wheels fall off. Lord hammercy. Dating CB is exhausting.

        • Folasade

          That ho IS loyal.

        • Folasade

          I mean what else is she gonna do? Go get an education and a regular 9-5 like the rest of us?

          • uniquebeauty79

            I mean she could. But think about she has had a taste of unlimited $$ now so why would she want to do that? She was at one point trying to start her own clothing line. That is something I think she should have capitalized on when CB left her for Rih that time, ppl would have paid attn. to her even if only out of sympathy and HER brand could have gotten exposure instead of her doing shows crying about what he had done. She should have put on the big girl undies and said ok, since ppl watching me, let me give them something to watch….that’s just me though. If ppl are going to be watching my every move and I have a talent I’d rather give them something else to watch (like me blowing up) than me being miserable.

        • ??Jessica??

          Charlemagne Da God called her an all purpose chick… and it totally made sense!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNBtDnjbZ6E

    • ??Jessica??

      I think so too…. but you cant even be mad at the right host because…… who is she??? No seriously, Who is she????

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Slow clap.

    He needs an accountability partner quick and not one of his cronies.

    • BeautifullyHuman

      Word. And if he is attending therapy like he states, then he needs to fire his therapist quick! This ninja has been on a downward spiral for the past six years. Really though?

  • Meridian

    He wants people to have a different perception of him when he’s doing the same sh*t he used to. He may not be beating up women but he has a violent episode every few months and his most violent episode is surely going to come up as a result. I get that he’s tired of people coming down on him but he is legitimately messy and out of control. Nothing Adrienne or Tamar said was off the wall. He went in on the easy targets like a total loser. H*ll, Tamar d*mn near complimented him the whole time so he really just needed to get his anger at the world off his chest and used them to do it.

  • Kanye Whack

    color guy?

  • Julian Green

    If you do what you what you’ve always done, then you’ll get what you always got.

  • First off, Here We Steelers, Here we go!! Secondly, F Chris Brown forever. That is all.

    • Rachmo

      Nothing more to say.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Eeps has been hiding since Sunday #lickinghiswoundsafterthatbeatdown

      • He was all over the place after the first game…..

  • KingJames870

    First of all…The Real is a terrible show and I honestly didn’t think they’d still be on TV. Second…I root for Chris Brown because he takes a beating with the media, but he never shuts the f*ck up. At this point, it should be all singing and dancing.

  • Andrea

    My theory. He never watched the interview. And Kae was realllly upset or something. Or that is the oddest/baddest publicity stunt. Why is that so odd to me. Just odd. I’m gonna need for him to have not watched the interview. Cuz if he watched it. And wrote that. He is an azz-hole. A very odd/immatue/odd azz-hole.
    I think he picked the only targets that were targets. How do you diss Tamera? I imagine he didn’t know the other one’s names. And barely new Tamar’s.

    What did he mean by Tamar’s face “is always beat in every photo”???? Odd? Did he compliment her? Did he diss her makeup? Did he call her ugly? That’s just Odd???

    • BeautifullyHuman

      Beat…as in “beat” the f*ck up.

      • Andrea

        Its confusing tho. If someone said that to me…I would assume that its a compliment. In 2014 that is a compliment. And he posted a picture of a “beat Adrienne”. A flattering “beat” photo. Odd. And why would he ever use the word “beat”. Odd.

        • AlwaysCC

          i’m upset with everyone trying to make “beat” happen (in reference to makeup). i refuse.

          • Andrea

            It happened.

            • AlwaysCC

              i suppose. but who actually uses it? i admit i don’t watch reality tv so maybe it’s being used more than i’m aware. it just reminds me of “fetch” lol

        • BeautifullyHuman

          I think you have to be mindful of the semantics involved with the the word “beat” and who’s using it. Coming from perhaps, a gay male or a woman praising the way you look…beat would work as a compliment. However, typically coming from a brash a** dude like Chris, it typically implies you look wounded/hurt in the face…and there’s no getting around that with semantics.

          • Andrea

            Which is as odd as Michael Vick posting a picture of a kitty on his instagram and saying she “is always beat in every photo”?

            Did Mike Vick just call the kitty wounded/hurt in the face? Odd.

            • BeautifullyHuman

              Quite possibly that photo had sexual undertones…lol. But, in the context of Chris, he meant Tamar was looking tore up. There’s no getting around that.

              • Andrea

                I know. Which means he is insane. And making his publicist emotionally unstable.

          • True. My husband ain’t never said my face was “beat”.

      • 2011k

        Sad enough, Tamar has opened up about your past issues with domestic violence. To imply that she looks “beat up” in every photo could possibly be a huge trigger for her. Not saying that his intent was to take it there, but given his past, that’s a rather low blow.

        • BeautifullyHuman

          Beat was definitely a terrible word choice for Chris. The irony.

      • IcePrincess

        Rite. He meant more like “hit.”

        • Heavens2Murgatroid

          Even worse, considering if it were to be a woman-beating CB that would say that. He can’t walk away from this unscathed

    • Why is putting a woman’s looks down the go-to insult for anyone? Call me dumb, lazy, say I stink. Why should I care that you don’t find me attractive, tho?
      Also…what is “trout mouthed”. I don’t know what that means.

      • BeautifullyHuman

        Because there’s a high premium on women’s beauty in this country, and as a result, most women (and men for that matter) want to be deemed attractive. Saying otherwise is a damaging insult to one’s esteem. Unfortunately, intellect doesn’t carry the same significance for most as beauty does.

        I think trout mouth refers to someone’s mouth looking like a trout fish. Lol

  • Charlisia Nwachukwu

    Agreed.

  • GemmieBoo

    No screencaps of him leaving threatening messages on a dog’s Instagram page. No public quotes about why he hates Scooby Doo. LOLOLOL

    yeah. this post sums it all up quite nicely. folks will start to think more highly of Chris Brown (and his relationships) when Chris Brown thinks more highly of himself (and his relationships).

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