Chris Brown

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YMCMB

YMCMB

The bond between Young Money artists Drake, Nicki Minaj and their boss Lil Wayne seems stronger than ever. Sorry, Tyga.

The trio has teamed up for Nicki Minaj’s latest The Pinkprint release and the main topic is Minaj’s sex life. The rapper has always been clear on the fact that she’s all abut business and doesn’t sleep with men in the industry, but that doesn’t stop fans from wondering what’s going on between her and Drake. One minute she’s calling him her brother and the next she’s giving him a lap dance in her “Anaconda” video.

“I never f*cked Wayne, I never f*cked Drake. On my life man f*ck sake. If I did I would menage with ‘em and let them eat my ass like a cupcake.” she spits in the opening lines of “Only.”

Drake’s response?

“I never f*cked Nicki cuz she got a man, but when that’s over then I’m first in line.”

TMZ says that’s over so let the Dricki shipping begin.

With the three popular rappers and Chris Brown on the hook, this song should be received well by fans. Sonically, it’s nothing new for the YMCMB crew, but Minaj’s fans are always excited when the rapper goes back to her hip hop roots.

The Pinkprint just got a new release date. It’s scheduled for a Dec. 15 release now. Continue reading

RCA

RCA

Chris Brown’s new project, out today, is understandably lengthy. Brown has been working to release the album for well over a year now, through on-again, off-again relationships, increasing legal woes and some time away in rehab and jail. A lot has happened to inspire new material. Unfortunately, due to the setbacks caused by Brown’s tumultuous life, some of his best singles (“Love More,” “Don’t Think They Know” and “Fine China”) have been relegated to the deluxe edition of the album.

The remaining 17 tracks are a great blend of the R&B and EDM styles Brown has revisited time and time again in his more recent material. Similarly, the lyrical content is the usual blend of the singer shrugging off the haters and toxic relationships and having a lot of sex.

That’s not to say it’s a bad album just because it’s a pretty standard Chris Brown release. Regardless of the singer’s obvious personal issues, Brown has clearly grown fairly comfortable with his often-controversial brand of R&B and it shows on X. He knows what works and he sticks to it, which results in a pretty solid album.

The EDM-infused album opener and explosive title track finds Brown addressing the naysayers and an ex as well as his inability to escape some of the toxic cycles in his life. “You can start a fight, I ain’t fighting back I’m cool with it. I simply came here to party,” he sings before ushering in the album’s simplest and most effective hook. In a similar vein, “Stereotype” is a booming Danja-produced kiss-off to an ex or, as Brown calls her, his “biggest regret.”

Once Brown realizes the relationship is over he has two reactions: “So baby tonight I’m blowing up your line,” Brown sings, echoed by Souled Out songstress Jhene Aiko in “Drunk Texting,” a standout track and an ode to one of the biggest mistakes you can make when drunk. “I should’ve loved you way more, way more. So if this is the end of us now, I’ll see you around” Brown sings in “See You Around,” which features soft acoustic production during the verses, but builds to a huge chorus with booming percussion and bells.

Interestingly enough, two of the album’s best tracks center around R. Kelly. The after dark slow groove “Drown In It” doesn’t offer any new metaphors or even attempt to be anything novel, but, perhaps, it’s successful because it’s exactly how you’d expect a collaboration between the two to sound. “Songs on 12 Play” doesn’t feature R. Kelly, but it does feature Brown and his frequent collaborator Trey Songz delivering a handful of references to the singer’s debut album and some of his most popular hit songs. Songz, whose R. Kelly influences have always been glaringly apparent, sounds right at home on this cut as does Brown.

Sticking with the idea of paying homage, Brown’s latest single also references an old R&B hit (“Love In This Club”), while featuring it’s singer, Usher, and rapper Rick Ross.

On the highly-anticipated Kendrick Lamar-assisted “Autumn Leaves,” one of the album’s moodier cuts, Brown sings “I’ve been bleeding in your silence. I feel safer in your violence. I hold on like leaves in fall to what is left.” It’s one of the more poignant moments on the album, mainly because it seems to find Brown finally admitting an addiction to the vicious cycle he’s been trying so hard to escape.

Through the good and the bad, X is a product of this cycle. “It’s like I can’t get out of my own way,” Brown admits on the Brandy-assisted “Do Better.”

Instagram

Instagram

Chris Brown and Trey Songz, self-proclaimed “R&B Thugs,” “Songs on 12 Play” collaborators and future tour mates, have teamed up for a new version of ILoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday.”

The two singers keep the hook the same, but they take turns singing about their flashy lifestyles during the verses.

“In the club with my strap, in case a n*gga wanna test me,” Brown sings. (That should do wonders for his reputation as a newly calm and trouble-free citizen.)

Regardless, this version is admittedly quite catchy.

Brown’s new album X is out tomorrow. And, the singer recently released his long-awaited collaboration with Ariana Grande.

Meanwhile, the Drake-assisted version of new OVO signee ILoveMakonnen’s first big single is continuing to make waves. Continue reading

Chris Brown and Ariana Grande in "Don't Be Gone Too Long" video

Chris Brown and Ariana Grande in “Don’t Be Gone Too Long” video

Fans first learned of a Chris Brown and Ariana Grande collaboration in February when the two singers uploaded pictures from their dance rehearsals to social media and tweeted lyrics that seemed to belong to the same song. Then, in April, Brown released a one-take clip of his dance scene for the video.

Unfortunately, fans learned the album version of the song, titled “Don’t Be Gone Too Long,” doesn’t feature Grande when Brown’s album leaked a few days ago.

That hasn’t stopped the singer from unveiling the long-awaited video featuring Grande as a ballerina-dancing princess. After falling in love with Brown, who many believe to be an improper suitor, she is locked away.

As with all fairytale endings, the two lovers are eventually reconnected.

The video is good, but I predict people will mostly talk about the fact that Grande has her hair down the entire time.

Also, the album version isn’t as good as this one.

X is out Sept. 16. Continue reading

Chris Brown performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Chris Brown performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

It seems like people are definitely embracing Chris Brown a little more these days. The singer appeared on The Tonight Show last night and absolutely killed his performance.

Breezy performed chunks of his new album’s title track “X” and his hit single “Loyal.” Brown’s vocals were pretty good, but, as usual, his dancing was the draw here.

X leaked a few days ago, although it’s not scheduled to be released until Tuesday, Sept. 16.

As usual, I try not to post new songs once an album has leaked in full and I hold my review until the official release date. BUT, I will say I have been listening to “X” nonstop since the album leaked. The explosive, synth-heavy song about a on-again, off-again relationship is super addictive.

Watch the performance over on Rap-Up.

"New Flame" screencap

“New Flame” screencap

Chris Brown’s promo for his forthcoming album x is now back and in full swing.

The singer dropped off the video for his new single “New Flame” today. True to his and collaborator Usher’s nature, the visuals focuses a lot on the men’s dance moves. Both appear in two difference scenes, one that features a white backdrop and a pool and another that features a giant “X” on fire.

Rick Ross also appears in the video.

x will be released, after a number of setbacks, on Sept. 16. Continue reading

Instagram (RCA)

Instagram (RCA)

Chris Brown’s x was originally supposed to be released over a year ago, but a series of personal and legal woes, among other issues, caused the album to be delayed despite the release of several solid singles.

Fans have been waiting for the album to receive a new release date since the singer was released from jail a few months ago and yesterday he finally delivered one.

X will be released on Sept. 16.

No word yet on if songs like “Fine China,” “Love More” and “Don’t Think They Know” will still be featured on the highly anticipated album or if Breezy has decided to scrap the 2013 releases for newer material.

RCA | CBE

RCA | CBE

Chris Brown’s music has been in heavy rotation recently despite his recent legal woes, but hopefully he can finally release his long-delayed album X now that he’s out of jail.

We haven’t gotten any new information about the album yet, but Brown dropped a new song, “New Flame,” featuring Usher and Rick Ross shortly after performing at the BET Awards last night.

Compared to expletive-heavy songs like “Loyal,” this song is far more subdued. With a simple synth line and beat, both Brown and Usher sing about finding love in a club. A nod to Usher’s old hit? Perhaps.

It’s always good to see artists coming together so this song is definitely a good look. And it’s catchy.

Usher appeared in the video for Brown’s “Loyal” earlier this year.

Brown performed for the first time since being released from jail last night at the awards show. He sang “Loyal” with Lil Wayne and Tyga before joining August Alsina and Trey Songz (who apparently made up!) for the “I Luv This Shit” remix. Continue reading

BET

BET

Let’s be honest, most of us forgot about the BET Awards up until the last minute this year. The Awards Show just didn’t seem to be offering anything worth watching based on it’s promo.

It turns out, though, there were actually some genuinely good surprises in this year’s show. And, no, Beyonce and Jay Z’s “special performance” (from their On the Run tour via satellite) was not one of them. From Chris Brown’s first performance since being released from jail, to unexpected medleys from Usher and throwback bands like Silk and Color Me Badd to a surprise appearance from Missy Elliott during Pharrell’s opening number, this show really was full of exciting moments.

Maybe it’s a good thing the network didn’t tweet out the surprises before the show. A part of what made them great is that they were genuinely unexpected.

Nicki Minaj, Jhene Aiko, John Legend, Lil Wayne and more also graced the stage during the show. Continue reading

Jay Z & Beyonce in "Drunk in Love" video

Jay Z & Beyonce in “Drunk in Love” video

The 2014 BET Awards are right around the corner and the nominations are officially in.

Jay Z and Beyonce lead the pack with four nominations each, while newcomers Jhene Aiko, Ariana Grande and August Alsina also snagged nods.

The Carters’s “Drunk In Love’ is nominated for Best Collaboration and Video of the Year. Jay Z’s Justin Timberlake-assisted single “Holy Grail” is also up for Best Collaboration. No matter who wins in that category (even if it’s not one of the Carters), it should be a great night for the family. Beyonce also has another nod in Video of the Year (“Partition”) and is up for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist. Jay Z is also up for Best Male Hip Hop Artist.

In addition to being nominated for Video of the Year for “Fine China,” Chris Brown also snagged a nomination in the Video Director of the Year category. He is also nominated for Best Male R&B/Pop Artist.

The BET Awards will take place on June 29.

Check out the music nominations below. Continue reading

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