This week has been a bad one for black men in public. Chris Brown was one of the first in recent years to be accused of beating his ex-girlfriend Rihanna in a very public case of domestic violence. He has now become the face of domestic violence and has served jail time for probation violations related to the incident that occured over five years ago.
A critic at The Root says thta Brown’s new album consists of numerous reflections of a man who is still sickenly tied to the abuse of women. But does the critic go overboard, since Brown hasn’t been arrested for any abuse incidents since Rihanna? Tell us what you think.
Why are my hands bleeding? I think I know why/
I’ve been holding on/To the words from your every lie.
The fact that Chris Brown happens to release a brand-new album with graphic lyrics like this during what might be the world’s worst week for famous black men and domestic violence hasgot to be someone’s twisted joke. In the midst of an entire culture becoming hyperaware of its huge problem with downplaying violence against women, the music industry’s baddest bad boy puts out an unashamedly chauvinistic album that spends much of its time verbally attacking them. It’s absolutely cruel proof that fate is real.
Rihanna-gate occurred more than five years ago, but it still hangs over Brown and his brand and seeps into his music. Getting expelled from a court-ordered rehab program and arrested on assault charges finally landed Brown behind bars in March for violating probation—the probation that was installed after he beat his then-girlfriend to a bruised, darkly iconic mess. There’s nothing that Brown could ever do to remove that image from our minds, just as there’s no way we can unsee that Ray Rice video. But striving for redemption—something that continually evades Chris Brown—would seem like a good place to start.