Chris Brown wants you to know that he is a passionate, positive, self-actualizing young man. In a series of in-studio interviews he arranged in advance of his upcoming single, he sold this nice-guy image hard.
"[Brown's upcoming sixth album X] also represents me focused on overcoming adversity. When you see an 'X' on a vial, it's like it's forbidden, a poison. But for me, it's also like a release, where I'm able to identify with both the reject and the good guy...Basically, I'm saying the negativity is in the past for me," pop's most celebrated diplomat told Rolling Stone.
"I do a lot of charitable stuff that I don't try to put out there to get a pat on the back for; I do my own thing. But in the process, everything I do is positive. I don't have a negative focus," the contortionist told Ebony, his left hand resting in the small of his back.
Rolling Stone posted some lyrics of the new material. "I'm not dangerous," he says in the upcoming single "Fine China." Got that? He will not make any part of your body swell with his bare hands, he will not break your face like, well, fine china. In the title track, he sings, "You can start a fight, but I ain't fighting back/I'm cool with it/I simply came here to party/Why would I trip off the bullshit/When I'm on the good shit?" He's clearly changed so much in the past two months. We're watching him develop before our eyes.
The line between self-promotion and propaganda is sometimes entirely unclear, and so while all of this is dubious and hilariously ridiculous given, oh, everything we've ever heard about Chris Brown, it's not exactly unexpected behavior from a pop artist. However, he did flat-out lie when Ebony asked him about leaving Twitter and Instagram (as he did after his infamous feud with comedian Jenny Johnson). He stopped social networking not because he's an uncontrollable, hostile, seemingly bigoted hothead — according to Brown, he doesn't tweet or 'gram anymore because he needs to preserve his magic.
EBONY.com: How have you negotiated the whole social media thing? You want to let your music speak for itself, but you also speak for yourself...
Chris Brown: Used to [cracks a knowing smile]. I detached myself from social media only because it just takes away the magic. Twitter is a good outlet for certain people, but I think for me and the message I'm trying to portray, it's all about the music, the magic, and the creativity of what I'm doing.
If you show somebody how to do a magic trick, it's not a magic trick anymore.
[Image via Getty]