Friday, February 24, 2012

Rihanna's Memo to Everyone: Stand By a Man (Even If He Beats You)?

[Survey completed by Glamour Magazine conducted March 3 to 17, 2011 among 2,542 women aged 18-35]
Domestic Violence Statistics:

NEARLY 60 PERCENT OF ALL YOUNG WOMEN HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE


29% of women surveyed said they’d been in an abusive relationship.
62% of those women have been hit, shoved, or slapped.
33% choked or strangled.
11% who say their partner is currently abusive predict he “will seriously hurt or kill me.”

In 2009 Chris Brown contributed to these statistics. In exchange for his violent and unjustifiable attack on Rihanna he was rewarded with a #1 Album on the Billboard Top 200 (F.A.M.E. - 2011), over 800,000 albums sold and a Grammy. On top of the accolades, Chris Brown's victim has added to his success by recording two duets with him for his forthcoming album Fortune.




“Haters keep on hating cause somebody’s gotta do it.”  - Chris Brown


We all saw the pictures of Rihanna's bruised face and watched the disaster that is Chris Brown, unleash and wreak havoc over the last three years. We watched Rihanna move forward and continue to rise past being a victim of domestic abuse. In my opinion, Rihanna is on top of the music game with more success to come. She is slated to appear in this summer's highly anticipated blockbuster - Battleship. So much promise and so much potential. With the world on her side and so many people like myself in her corner, supporting her at her every move -

WHY THE HELL WOULD RIHANNA RECORD A COLLABORATION WITH CHRIS BROWN?

In his recent piece with Complex Magazine Toure explained it best. (Thanks Godson)

Fans easily forget that stars have a public persona they see and a private self that may inform the public persona—but is not the same. Fans outside Whitney Houston's funeral complained that they deserved to be inside because they had made her, but they're wrong.
They made "Whitney" the icon but they did not make Whitney the person, the woman many called Nippy. Inside the church, family and friends were mourning a real person—Nippy, not "Whitney." There's a difference, just as there is with Rihanna and "Rihanna." So which of them decided to do these songs with Chris?
"Rihanna" the icon sees in him a star whose career is hot, and collaborating with heat is good business. There's no collabo that she could do right now that would net her more attention. Sure "Rihanna" is getting a lot of attention, but being a pop star is like running for elective office: no amount of press is ever enough.
You've always got to find a new reason to get people talking about you. If they're not talking about you then they're talking about someone else and you're losing ground to that person. Rihanna's fanbase overlaps with Chris's so they won't abandon or punish her for redeeming him. They'll probably be intrigued. 

I love what Toure said here and it actually helped me calm my nerves a bit and forced me to come speak to you all with a rational mind. However, did Rihanna really need this publicity? I don't think so. Rihanna had won the battle and the war, in my opinion. She is on top of her game and didn't need to do any duets with Chris Brown. Another rational person, The Fed, made a great point regarding this debacle and pointed out a few things that really forced me to think. We are constantly fighting for a woman to have the right to have various choices in her life and the ability to make decisions, yet we have a woman who has made a decision, and because it's a decision we don't like, we want to chastise her for it. Granted The Fed makes a valid argument here, I still disagree and think that Rihanna has made a piss poor decision. 

This story does have an additional layer.....

Hypocrisy?

In comes Country Music Superstar Miranda Lambert. Lambert, a 2011 Grammy Award Winner was one of the audience members subjected to Chris Brown's two performances at this years Grammy's. In disgust Lambert took to her Twitter account - "Not cool that we act like that didn't happen...I don't get it, he beat up on a girl." Lambert took her campaign even further during a recent performance of her song “Gunpowder & Lead,” (a song about a woman plotting to shoot her abusive boyfriend) when she held up a sign that read "Take Notes Chris Brown."  Brown responded to Lambert saying, the incident is in the past and that Lambert can “keep hatin” because she’s giving him free publicity.

Here is the problem, Lambert has a few holes in her sheets that can't be ignored. At the same Grammy ceremony where Chris graced the stage twice and snagged a Grammy, Lambert's husband Country Musician Blake Shelton participated in an All-Star Tribute to Glen Campbell. Campbell received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy. Campbell and Brown share a similar past, Campbell was accused of beating his past girlfriend, Country Musician Tanya Tucker. It's quite interesting that Miranda would be so passionate about Chris Brown and his past, all while her husband was honoring a fellow Domestic Abuser. Where is the outrage against Glen Campbell? If we are going to speak out against Domestic Violence and single out abusers, Lambert should have started at home, made an executive decision and stopped her husband from participating in a tribute that honored an abuser. 

So if Miranda and the All-Stars of Country Music don't have a problem with Glen Campbell's abusive past, why should we have a problem with Chris Brown's abusive past? What separates Glen Campbell and Chris Brown, except the color of their skin? Could Rihanna be thinking this? Let's take a moment and be honest with ourselves. Hollywood demonizes black celebrities and consistently stirs the pot of hypocrisy. Vanessa Hudgens gets caught with naked pictures on the internet and not only does she keep her job with Disney, she goes on to star in additional movies and further her career. Adrienne Ballon gets caught with similar naked pics and is immediately fired from Disney. Robert Downey Jr. was a drug addict for many years and was rewarded with a blockbuster career, yet countless black actors who've battled drug addiction have been dismissed from the industry. As much as I hate to admit it (thank you Shady), I have to stop and think about all of these things and question - should we put the past behind us and allow Chris Brown to move forward?

Then reality smacks me in the face........

From The Huffington Post:

Chris Brown Facing Robbery Charge For Allegedly Snatching Fan's iPhone Outside South Beach Club



Singer Chris Brown is facing a possible robbery charge after allegedly snatching a fan's iPhone outside South Beach nightclub Cameo, said Miami Beach Police spokeswoman Deborah Doty.
"B****, you ain’t going to put that on no website," the volatile star reportedly said after 24-year-old Miami resident Christal Spann took a photo of Brown sitting in his black Bentley.
Spann told police she was inside the nightclub Cameo early Sunday morning when she spotted Brown and rapper Tyga exiting through a side door,according to a police incident report obtained by TMZ. After Spann and her friends followed the pair outside, she took a photo of Brown in his Bentley with her white iPhone 4s.
Brown then rolled down the window, grabbed her phone, uttered the charming phrase every woman wants to hear above, and drove north on Washington Avenue, Spann said.






Jay-Z, Kanye, someone, please step in and pull the breaks on this train before it crashes. It's very obvious that Chris Brown is still mad and still carries that rage and anger that allowed him to attack Rihanna that fateful night. Chris was doing an excellent job at his crash and burn act. He famously broke windows at an ABC studio when a "Good Morning America" interview didn't go his way, he has had diarrhea of the mouth via Twitter and who could forget the Larry King interview? Rihanna coasted by and managed to keep her name out of the drama and protect her image. Not anymore! Rihanna has made herself a part of the story that is Chris Brown, the self-destructor.  



What's additionally disturbing to me is the collaboration – “Birthday Cake” (Remix). I am a fan of Rihanna and have all of her albums. "Talk That Talk" has been in heavy rotation on my iPod since mid January. Birthday Cake is a track on the album that's exactly 1 minute and 18 seconds long and cuts off at a point where the listener is just getting entranced and you know Rihanna is about to rip it. Everyone whose listened to the album and heard “Birthday Cake” agrees that it should have been a full length song and not some 1 minute interlude. Birthday Cake is a mature track with mature lyrics, which I can admit I have an appreciation for. However, the dead cut in the track and sudden collaboration has led me to believe that this was something well thought out and planned, for quite some time. It also strikes fear into my heart, because Chris Brown’s lyrics on the song combined with the possibility of all the advance planning, tells me that there is probably more to this relationship than we know about. 


I've said it before and I will say it again, Chris Brown is a detriment to society. Our young girls deserve better than an individual like him in the spotlight, consuming their attention. Rihanna deserves better and can do better than Chris Brown.


Toure has summed up my feelings and the feelings of many:


Now Rihanna has very publicly returned to to the man who abused her by collaborating with him on two songs. This doesn't prove Brown apologists right, but for all those who stood by Rihanna it feels like the chair has been pulled out from under us.


I am heartbroken, annoyed and pissed with Rihanna. I feel stupid for defending her and going so hard against Chris Brown. 


I've given you a lot, SOUND OFF.........


Should Rihanna have collaborated with Chris Brown?
Will this collaboration have positive or negative effects on Rihanna's brand?
Is Miranda Lambert being a hypocrite?
Should we be worried for Rihanna?
What are your overall thoughts on this entire situation?








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