The Chris Brown Forgiveness Train Rolls Right Along Without Timbaland
So now that Timbaland has scrapped Chris Brown’s appearance from his forthcoming Shock Value II, Brown’s career is dead in the water, right? Not so fast. The real shock here may be that his prospects aren’t quite so grim: plenty of people appear to be happy to be in business with the awkwardly remorseful singer.
The last-minute dumping of CB’s vocals from Timbaland’s “The One I Love” was mutual, says a rep for the producer. A spokesman told E! Online it was a “mutual decision since both artists were at the time working on their solo projects.” (Seriously?)
Anyway, that was the explanation after TMZ (eye roll, we know) first reported that Tim and his crew (much as they “love Chris”) opted to ditch the song, previously known as “Maniac,” due to the “drama” surrounding him.
Did Timbaland’s moral compass compel him to jump off the Forgive Chris Brown train? Or was he just making a business decision? It might’ve been a smart one, given the popular reception to Brown’s most recent work: his new single “I Can Transform Ya” slipped to #24 on the most recent Billboard Hot 100. What’s more, his “Fan Appreciation” tour(and how pandering a name that is) hasn’t exactly been the comeback concert he was hoping for—even though he’s playing smaller venues than he might have in past tours, Brown is still not putting butts in seats.
But not everyone’s scared of working with him. Soulja Boy Tell’em is happily collaborating with Chris on his album Graffitti with a track called “Bad.” And Ciara kept CB’s vocals on “Turntables,” from her May release Fantasy Ride, despite that fact Brown was still in the middle of facing a domestic abuse case. Ciara explains:
“I wanted to focus on the music and leave it at that, because it’s a record that I’ve had for a while, I love the way it sounds and it’s one of my most favorite records on the album. And if I alter it, it’s not gonna sound the same. So for me, really it’s nothing more than about the music, so I kept it there.”
Atalanta rapper New Yung Joc wasn’t afraid, either, to feature Brown on the song “Choose Me” off his free album Grind Flu. Says Joc:
“Why are we still ridiculing this man? He had a problem with his girl. I’m not condoning abuse. But they both got into it and they both got over it. Why can’t the world?”
The rest of his career hasn’t taken too much of a hit either. Chris is still part of the ensemble cast of action/crime movie Takers (also starring Zoe Saldana and Hayden Christensen) out in February, and he’s slated to star in two other films (currently in pre-production), the dramedy Caramel and Phenom, playing a hotshot basketball player. It will be interesting to see how well these films do at the box office, and how much its potential success or failure will be attributed to Brown’s involvement.
Chris Brown might be off Timbaland’s album for good, but he’ll have to face him sooner than later—Brown’s Graffiti drops Dec. 8, the same day as Timbaland’s Shock Value sequel. Wanna bet whose will come out on top?