Originally published on Youthradio.org, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe.
By: Brandon McFarland
Chris Brown's first interview since he beat up Rihanna, will air this Wednesday night on Larry King Live. America is eager to hear from the R&B stars mouth exactly three things: "W! T! F!" Judging from a preview of the interview with the 20-year old Brown sandwiched between his mother Joyce Hawkins and lawyer Mark Geragos, it looks like he's not going to offer up any real explanation. We will get to hear exactly what type of emotional trauma from his childhood (which his mother should expound upon) led up to what his loved ones call "strange behavior".
But, honestly, who cares about that? The real question at hand is: can he come back from this devastating blow to his "good boy" image and maintain a career as an entertainer? Pop culture history gives us some examples to look at here.
In the midst of child pornography charges R. Kelly made "Tapped in the Closet". A comical R&B opera series that became one of his most popular works since "I Believe I Can Fly". The only difference is unlike Brown, Kells didn't plead guilty to his charge (even though many of us still believe he did it) and was pronounced innocent.
The King of Pop, rest in peace, faced charges of molestation and kiddie-porn. Yet on a whim he could sell out an arena anywhere in the world because he is The King Of Pop. Well, he pleaded not guilty and won too.
So. There is something to be said about the whole "not guilty" verdict that helps with public perception. Or does it?
Rapper/Actor Tupac Shakur was a convicted sex offender who spent almost a year in prison. While incarcerated sales of his album "Me Against The World" flourished, making 2Pac the only artist ever to have an album at number one on the Billboard charts while serving a prison sentence. After he was released from prison he made some of his most celebrated and often remixed Death Row recordings.
This is the reality Chris is going to have to face. He can woo the girls but he can't write hits like R. Kelly, He can dance his ass off but he doesn't have the adoration of a king (not even a prince). And, yes, he has some amount of a hard edge but his voice and music isn't as heart wrenchingly powerful as Tupac's was.
This is not to say that he can never achieve some of those goals if he wants. But I'm not sure how loyal his primary fan base of teenyboppers will be after a scandal like this. I mean think about the media darling Rihanna is! She was groomed for pop icon status by Jay-Z himself while Brown has yet to have a #1 song on the pop charts.
Quick history lesson again. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. Extremely famous female singer falls in love with R&B star, everything's good. Then the world sees their domestic issues. Mary J Blige and K-Ci is another example. Rihanna simply learned much faster than her predecessor Whitney Houston who after a dysfunctional relationship, drug abuse, and a reality TV stint, FINALLY calls it quits with Bobby Brown and is clawing her way back into the spotlight she once commanded. Rihanna's next record is going to be a woman scorn survivor pop sensation and it is bound to only increase her fan base.
So Chris if you’re reading this, take my advise; FALL BACK! You already have lots of money (or should). Enjoy the rest of your youth. Go to school. Just don't keep making autotune drenched "I'm sorry" songs because unless she takes you back, you kind of look like a crazy ex-boyfriend. FALL BACK…a little more… right next to Lil Romeo and Sammie. There you go. Perfect.
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