Corporate line:Preparing for his 2009 release Graffiti, Chris Brown has crossed the threshold from teenager to young man. Experiencing the growing pains, challenges, loves and losses of the past year, Chris has found his way as an artist. While creating his own distinct sound, he has put together a body of work that captures the many dimensions of youth: lost love, disappointment and self discovery counterbalanced with swagger, ambition and partying. Graffiti represents the gateway to Chris’ next chapter as an artist and young adult.
From go you get Lil Wayne spewing nonsense about Optimus Prime and Chris Brown trying to bring cohesion, but they don’t mix. The over the top Swizz Beatz try to carry it along but its the same sort of mess you get these days when R&B and Hip-hop crash head-on.
There are plenty of points where Brown attempts to apologize. But its too little too late when “Crawl” opens with: “So where do we go from here/ With all of this fear in your eyes?” Same goes for “So Cold” which goes on and on about Brown’s misery of being alone. It’s really hard to believe because he follows this up with “What I Do” singing about “the cars, the gals and the cribs.” Life must really be tough for Mr. Brown. More money, more problems it seems. And then the bottom drops out as Brown blames Rihanna outright on “Famous Girl” when he sings about her cheating on him first: “I don’t wear no halo/You were the first to play the game though.. Should’ve known you’d break my heart.”
Again, Brown goes from deep to shallow. “Take My Time” is the opposite of the guy who is wallowing in self-pity as he sings about “kissing and licking on you everywhere” with a female voice in the background in a sexual manner. The backend of the album “I.Y.A.,” “Pass Out,” and “Wait” are mindless tracks to bang in the club.
“Graffiti” tries to end with Brown playing the role of the victim. “Lucky Me” and “Fallin’ Down” would appear to make you feel that Chris Brown is to be pitied becuase he is breaking down. But seriously, he brought it on himself, so are we supposed to feel bad? He wants us to feel bad because he is a celebrity when he asks: “Why is it so easy for you to blame/I’m only human, we’re all the same.” Honestly, Brown’s arrogance makes it nearly impossible to take him seriously or enjoy music from someone who’s arrogance and lack of self-consciousness is intolerable.