Some Thoughts About Chris Brown

Image from Chris Brown’s Instagram page

Later today I’m going to a Chris Brown concert for the first time. Just speaking musically for a moment, I think Chris Brown is fine. I don’t like or dislike his music; he has a couple of singles that I enjoy, but for the most part I listen to songs where he’s a feature, not the main artist. I don’t know much about his discography, his dancing talents or anything else. My lady friend wants to go see him though, so we’re going.

Of course, it can’t only be about the music with Chris Brown, thanks to his felony assault conviction stemming from a domestic violence incident where he severely beat Rihanna. A few years later, his ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran received a five-year restraining order against him for threats that he made against her. And that’s not to mention altercations he’s gotten into with everyone from Drake to Usher.

I’ll be completely honest for a moment: my opinion of Chris Brown is primarily dictated by the woman I’m with at the time. Obviously I think assault and threatening women is bad behavior. Previous women I’ve dated thought he was the scum of the earth, so my life was essentially Chris Brown free. The woman I’m dating now thinks he’s fine, so we’re seeing him in concert.

I’m not that concerned about how my wishy-washy take on Chris Brown might come off, because I really don’t have any feelings towards him either way. There are some broad considerations about crime and punishment that still need to be grappled with, especially in the wake of social movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter: when a person commits wrongdoing, how long should that person be held accountable for the crimes and misdeeds they’ve done? How far should that punishment extend? I think that’s a potentially interesting question, especially considering that Brown was sentenced and completed his sentence in regards to Rihanna.

But I don’t really care about thinking these things through for Breezy, because I just don’t care enough about him either way. Easy is a cool song, and I’m sure I’ll be drunk and high enough to have a blast at his concert even if I don’t any of the lyrics. But Brown himself doesn’t motivate me to have the discussion in any meaningful way, even though he’s probably the perfect candidate for the discussion of how far should punishment endure. I’m willing to entertain any answer. Maybe he should be blacklisted for life, or maybe we should let bygones be bygones. Pubic punishment is a difficult subject.

In any case, I’ll be in New York later to watch who everyone seems to think is the closest to Michael Jackson we’ll be getting for a while. I guess how I feel about him ultimately will be determined by how good of a show he puts on.

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