Chris Brown (he’s not just the president of the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club, he’s also a member!) gave an interview to the UK’s The Guardian recently, and if you already thought he was an entitled douchenozzle, this did little to change those perceptions.
Journalist Decca Aitkenhead writes that upon his arrival, “Brown keeps his shades on, makes no eye contact and addresses his words to the [recorder] in front of us, though less due to rudeness, I think, than the elaborate protocol of cool.”
She goes on:
Before long, I begin to suspect he’s actually just bored. He’s talking about his album, but making no sense, so I suggest we pretend I’ve just landed from Mars and know nothing about him. Here is a clean slate: his chance to define himself, to explain from scratch who he is and what he does. What would he say? As if registering my presence for the first time, he pauses, almost glances across, smiles – “That’s a good question” – and considers it carefully in silence.
“Well, I would say I’m an inspirational guidelines book. You can take my life story or scenarios or songs and relate to them, and apply them to your everyday life. You know, whether it be personal or musical, I just think I’m a walking art piece, just a ball of creativity.”
Were it not for what he refers to as “the incident with Rihanna,” he would now be “bigger than life. Yeah.” He can’t think of anything he’s bad at, apart from “just being able to relax and sleep.”
“Walking art piece”? Well, he got the “walking” and the “piece” right.
A lot of the time, his answers bear little, if any, relation to my questions. Or perhaps he’s decided on two central points he wants to make, and figures everything else is irrelevant. The first point he makes several times is that his new album will appeal to everyone; the second is that he is a changed man who’s grown up and calmed down. Unfortunately he’s at his least coherent when discussing the former, and at his most contradictory on the latter. By the time I leave, all I can say with certainty is that Brown is a stranger to the concepts of modesty and consistency.
Sounds about right.
This past weekend, much was made of a passage in which Brown describes losing his virginity at the age of 8 to a girl who was “14 or 15.”
Brown grew up with a great gang of boy cousins, and they watched so much porn that he was raring to go. “By that point, we were already kind of like hot to trot, you know what I’m saying? Like, girls, we weren’t afraid to talk to them; I wasn’t afraid. So, at eight, being able to do it, it kind of preps you for the long run, so you can be a beast at it. You can be the best at it.”
Whether you find this to be eye-rolling braggadocio or the incredibly sad tale of a childhood rape victim depends solely on your interpretation of it. (Commenters on Jezebel, for example, basically grabbed pitchforks and torches and stormed the castle when writer Doug Barry gave the statement a side-eye.)
Regardless, it does call into question where the hell his batshit crazy mother was during all this. Maybe this is just part of what she thinks makes him “God’s anointed.”
Anyway, after a history of Brown’s career thus far is covered, the “Rihanna incident,” as he calls it, is addressed. There’s a lot here of him whining about how hard community service is (“Community service, that shit is a bitch. I’ll be honest – and you can quote me on that – that is a motherfucker there”) and how hard it is to be him because he’s just so misunderstood and how he’s totally a changed man now and blah blah blah.
Then Decca asks him about that tat on his neck — the one that looks more than a little like police photos of Rihanna taken just after he’d beaten the snot out of her.
He has always disputed the resemblance, insisting it’s just a “random woman,” so I ask if he’d realised it would be misconstrued and cause so much fuss.
“I really don’t care. A tattoo’s a tattoo; it’s my body, my skin.”
Suddenly he is sulky and petulant. “My favourite line is, ‘Fuck you.’ I like giving the world a big fuck you. Every tattoo I have is a big fuck you. So it’s just, like, this is just me, and I’m the guy who’s going to be just the same guy at all times.”
But he’s totally changed, you guys. Don’t forget he’s totally changed.