Chris Brown may only be 16, but the R&B crooner has old-school inspiration coursing through his veins.
Brown, who cites soul pioneers Sam Cooke and Teddy Pendergrass as two of his main influences growing up, said he’s ready to channel some old-time music to a new generation of listeners for his third single, the Scott Storch-produced “Gimme That.”
“It’s going to be modern-day hip-hop [blended with] the days of Dick Tracy,” Brown said of the throwback clip he plans to shoot in early March in New York. “Think [of American jazz singer] Cab Calloway. Think of ‘Harlem Nights.’ ”
The singer will co-direct the video with Erik White, who helmed “Run It!” and co-directed “Yo” with Brown (see “Chris Brown Explains The Finer Points Of Hollering ‘Yo!’ “ ). This time around, Brown plans to take even more artistic control.
“I’m gonna get real in-depth with my creativity and my ideas about the video,” he said. “The concept is going to be a bit more back in the day. It’ll have a Rat Pack vibe. We’re really bringing back that old essence of jazz dancing and things like that.”
Brown previewed “Gimme That” briefly at the end of his “Yo” video, but to give it a fresh twist, he’s recruited Dirty South rapper Lil’ Wayne to help churn out a new remix.
Brown has never been one to back away from the ladies, and “Gimme That” has him hollering at an older woman. Its hook boasts, “Mama, you may be three years older, but you hot/ Gimme that.”
“A lot of dudes sit there and say [to a girl], ‘Gimme that,’ but what does that mean?” the singer said. “For me, I’d be saying, ‘Gimme that. Gimme your number and just gimme a chance to holla at you.’ ”
It’s possible the track could have stemmed from Brown’s real-life dating experiences. He admits to dating an older woman, but the now-single honey says the relationship just didn’t cut it.
“It’s cool,” Brown said, “but sometimes it doesn’t work out, you know?”
With music and acting topping the singer’s priorities right now (see “Chris Brown Switches Over To Acting — And Can’t Get A Date” ), Brown has little time to devote to his personal life. Which isn’t to say that he’s not on the lookout.
“I like a girl that plays hard to get,” the singer admitted, grinning. “I like a challenge.”
He’s also set himself up for a challenge when it comes to his next LP, for which he hopes to score collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé, 50 Cent and other young artists similar to himself, like Omarion and Mario. But the ultimate “get” in the crooner’s eyes?
“Michael Jackson. Just get him on a hook and it’s a wrap.”