Chris Brown Sips the Lemonade of a Bad Boy Image
In the heyday of rock and roll lifestyle, some artists were notorious for their “bad boy” aura. Whether known for drug excess or possessing short tempers, rock stars embraced the off-stage labels they were given to help sell records. Singer Chris Brown is just the latest on that list. The likeable 16-year-old crooner who once sang “excuse me miss/I saved the last dance for you,” is officially dead; now replaced by a 21 year-old, heavily tattooed Lothario who sings “If you can’t take it all, baby say when/make you cum over and over again/and Imma leave it in.” Once an entertainment pariah for his 2009 Pre-Grammy Awards assault on former girlfriend, multi-platinum singer Rihanna, Brown managed to take the negative energy from the seething public and media out-crying and internalized it into personal musical expression, reaping success that’s revitalized his career and given him a new image as a R&B ruffian.
After initially (and unsuccessfully) trying to put things behind him with the release of his 2009 CD Graffiti, Chris Brown decided to take to the mixtape route, in an attempt to express his resentments, regrets and rage, and showcase it to his fans. Following his stellar, show-stealing, exile dissolving tribute to hero Michael Jackson on the 2010 BET Awards, Breezy dropped the track “Deuces,” a lyrical kiss-off to a former lover bent on keeping him down (I wonder who he was talking about). Taken from the mixtape Fan of a Fan featuring rappers Tyga and Kevin McCall, “Deuces” is laced with profane disdain: “All that bullshit’s for the birds/you ain’t nothing but a vulture/Always hoping for the worst/wanting for me to fuck up.” His latest mixtape single, “No Bullshit” – a biting warning for his girl not to make an excuse to get out of sex (see lyrics in opening paragraph) – leaves little doubt that that bright-eyed teenager who sang “Run It” is in the rear view mirror. What’s makes the songs so compelling, however, go beyond the beats and Brown’s increasingly maturing vocal ability; The term “deuces” and phrase “don’t be on that bullshit” have been a part of the cultural lexicon for some time now, but were never eloquently put in the context of a song, until now. Not only did Brown incorporate them into song, but in fact made them into anthems easy for the public to get behind.