[EXCLUSIVE] Introducing the âNewâ Chris Brown?

Chris Brown

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think now I’ve been able to channel that and mature a little more and find out how to put it in my music.

And with X, I’m not looking back at the past, that’s what the past is for. I’m looking toward the future—toward everything that’s going to elevate me mentally and physically.

EBONY.com: Until now, you haven’t been doing interviews; so are you ready to get back out there and talk to people when they’re probably going to press you about things from the past?

CB: I think I’m more in a comfortable spot. I’ll also try to make the right choices, but it’s always going to be that one journalist or someone who wants to make their career off of the slip up. So I just have to be cognizant of it and realize that everybody has an opinion, everybody has a view on how they view things. I can’t judge or blame them for how they view anything. I just have to be myself the best I can and hopefully their perception won’t be as negative as what people say.

[Despite claiming that the opinions of others don’t bother him, it’s clear that it does. He’s brought it up several times during our chat, so it’s clearly on his mind. Perhaps this explains why he’s been mum toward the media, but he seems ready to open up—just a little bit—now.]

EBONY.com: How would you define yourself?

CB: One word? Passionate. That’s what drives me. I’m passionate about everything. I think I just wear my heart on my sleeve, so it shows every time I put my hand on something, I try to give 110-percent. If I paint, if I write, if I act, if I dance, I try to give it my all.

For me it’s more of a showing block. To show the 7-year-old kid or the 15-year-old ambitious young student who wants to go to film school or wants to do anything they want to…for me it’s like, “I can do it.” I want to show the people that are coming up, because I’m not going to be doing it forever. So hopefully the influences that I create with my music and the positive stuff that I do will shape our future. And hopefully that’s what it’s about. It’s about learning and giving your experiences to the next [generation].

EBONY.com: So it sounds like you’re embracing the whole role model label…

CB: Loosely. I would say, loosely. 

I do a lot of charitable stuff that I don’t try to put out there to get a pat on the back for; I do my own thing. But in the process, everything I do is positive. I don’t have a negative focus. I don’t want to influence [my fans] to do the wrong thing or promote anything that’s negative. So with my music, responsibility is the key. It’s a big responsibility to excite people, to make people love my music, to make people happy, smile, whatever the case may be. So with that responsibility it’s almost like hmm I can’t do too much, but as a young man I’m going to live my life and have diversity and have obstacles that come and I have to overcome them.

A role model is something I can aspire to be.

[Call me crazy, but I start to believe him…]

EBONY.com: What else do you wish people knew about you?

CB: Umm….[Chris exhales loudly and takes a long pause]. That’s a good question.

[He struggles to come up with the answer. After opening up, he seems guarded again and I can tell he’s not quite sure how he wants to answer this question.]

I mean…I don’t have an ambition of them knowing, or having to know…because I feel like a naysayer or a person with an opinion is just that, a person with an opinion. I respect it; constructive criticism is great all of the time. I really would want them to identify with the music, and identify with the different aspects of my creativity. That’s it. And I’m not just saying, “Give me a pat on the back and say I’m doing good,” but actually just see it and honestly appreciate it for what it is.  Instead of personal situations they might blame me for, or a life experience that you wish you took back when you was young. [Nervous laughter.]

But as of now, it’s just about moving forward and fully being able to do that with my music.

Britni Danielle covers everything from pop culture to politics for several publications. Follow her on Twitter @BritniDWrites or check out her blog, BritniDanielle.com.