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2007 Rewind – Chris Brown: Legally Platinum

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When Chris Brown was discovered in 2005, the Virginian represented the young, fresh and new generation of ‘80s babies who, having grown up emulating the moves of their favorite entertainers, now had a chance to become stars in their own right. All of a sudden, people were buying into their “Goodies,” whilst demanding that the DJ’s, radio stations and video channels “Pon De Replay” and “Run It” again.  Two years on and with the looming cloud of beginner’s luck having now settled, Chris Brown has more than proved his clout as a bankable entertainer; so much so that even his idols are fans.  With the impending release of Exclusive – the follow up to his three million dollar selling debut – the 18-year-old talks to us about birthdays, haters, Michael Jackson and his firsthand experience of domestic abuse.   AllHipHop.com Alternatives: The first time I saw you perform was at your first UK showcase back in 2005. Do you remember that day?Chris Brown: Yeah. I was just thinking of being ready for the show. I was just getting prepared all day like, because it was my first time performing out there, and it was in front of a lot of industry professionals, and I was just thinking of getting it right.     AHHA:  Is it true you were originally going to be signed to Def Jam?Chris Brown: Yeah I was going to go to Def Jam at first with Tina Davis, and when she left Def Jam, she became my manager, and I went to Jive.AHHA: Your current single “Wall to Wall” has been you lowest charting single to date. Musically, do you think it’s any different from your other releases or a case of the sophomore jinx? Chris Brown: I think that it’s got to do with the release time when we put it out. When we released it, people were confused and didn’t know whether it was a single or not. It was a leak, but at the same time when we made it official…and by the time the video came out because we shot the video so late. That’s what I think contributed to it you know what I’m saying? You never know, but I think that as far as what it’s doing and did visually… It’s doing really well in the UK, it’s doing good in the States. Well, it did aight, but the video still went to Number One on both video stations for weeks. The song doing as it did didn’t bother me that much. Just as long as they know the video’s dope.    AHHA: You turned 18 in May with a big party. Can you tell us about it?Chris Brown: The party was cool; I had two parties. One for the family, and one for just fans and everybody who wanted to come. The groups that are with my label came as well as from other labels like Rihanna came through and –What’s that girl’s name from Love and Basketball? – Sanaa Lathan and Jennifer Hudson. I can’t even remember I was just chilling with everybody. Lil’ Mama came through…The Pack came, Huey, Trey Songz. AHHA: Did you really get a call from Michael Jackson on your birthday?Chris Brown: I got it the day after. AHHA: What was he saying?Chris Brown: He was just like wassup. He was really just speaking to me, like he told me happy birthday and was saying wassup.  AHHA: So is the collaboration between you two definitely confirmed?Chris Brown: Well, hopefully it will be.  We’re talking but…like I originally talked to Will.I.Am, because he does some stuff for him. And then when I talked to Mike, he said, “Yeah we’ll do something.” So hopefully we will do that record. AHHA: Being so young when you came out, how did/do you cope with regular teenage insecurities when you’re in the spotlight?Chris Brown: Hmm I don’t think I have them as much. Like when I left school and started doing music, I felt like I was thrown into the fast life of growing up and I was like, “Ok let’s work and do music and travel.” So the insecurities weren’t really there.  I mean maybe I’ll have them about the clothes I’m wearing and everything else, but I wasn’t tripping like that. I’ve always been an individual, so I wasn’t really into what everybody else was doing.  AHHA: Your next single is “Kiss Kiss” featuring T-Pain. He gets a lot of slack for using a vocoder. What made you want to work with him?Chris Brown: I mean people at the end of the day, they are gonna hate regardless. Nine-times-outta-ten, the average person could not do what T-Pain can do…vocally. People saying he can’t sing and he needs a [vocoder], I just think its bull! It’s a dope sound, and that’s what makes him unique. Now you can hear other songs and other artists using it. I think people are uptight nowadays and are always being so critical as if they’re the judge, or the ambassador of the world you know what I’m saying? His fans love him and at the end of the day. I’m gonna get his album when it comes out, because I support him and love his music.  AHHA: I can tell this is something you feel strongly about, so I guess you would legally buy the album?Chris Brown: [laughs] It’s a no-brainer, because in the States he’s poppin’ and everybody’s copying him over in the States. I feel it’s important to support what he’s doing.  AHHA: When you were young you witnessed your mother being abused at the hands of your stepfather. What would you say to kids in that situation right now? Chris Brown: Well, me I would say…[pauses] find a…[pauses] try to just get away from it. Even if you can’t get away from it…[pauses] I know what you’re going through. At my age, I couldn’t just sit through it and be like, “I wanna do this to him and I wanna do that.” It was a harder situation. I would say…[pauses] I don’t know, just try not to hurt nobody after all’s said and done.  AHHA: I can tell this is a sensitive subject and must have been tough for you to go through. What did you do to cope with the domestic abuse you saw?Chris Brown: Like everything else, I put the old stuff behind me. I think people dwell on the past, but I don’t think that the past haunts them. I don’t even care like, I love my music and I love doing what I’m doing now. At the end of the day, I’m not even thinking about what happened years ago.  AHHA: Ok let’s move on. Increasingly nowadays, you don’t have to have a good voice to have a hit that tops the charts. As an artist are you more concerned with having a hit record or making classic music that can stand the test of time?Chris Brown: Well nowadays with all this technology, you don’t even have to say a thing! As in you can say the dumbest thing on a record and it will be a hit. It’s all about your melody and your presence on a record and how good the record is. I’m concerned with making music that feels good and what I like more then for anybody else. I know that anybody who wouldn’t like my music can’t be like it’s because he can’t sing or dance. At the end of the day, these people are the ones with a record deal and the person that’s criticizing is the one that still buys their stuff. I just look at it like, “Ok. It’s whatever…”    AHHA: Bow Wow and Omarion are coming together with a collaboration album. If you could choose one person from the world of Hip-Hop for a joint album who – Chris Brown: Lil Wayne! AHHA: Wow, you didn’t even let me finish my sentence. [laughs] So why Lil’ Wayne?Chris Brown: He’s the best MC period! Nobody messes with him. AHHA: In a recent interview, 50 Cent paid both you and Ciara a compliment saying that you’re the future of the business and are going to be the best things out in a little bit. How do you feel about that?Chris Brown: I mean that’s dope! 50’s always been a supporter. He usually don’t support a lot of artists and he’s with himself saying, “Let me do my own thing.” I appreciate 50 saying that. I met him several times, and every time I’ve met him he’s been nothing like the big homey. Almost like a big brother type of fam, so it’s cool. I get on real cool with him.

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