During his set at Hot 97's Summer Jam on Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Chris Brown pulled out a red jacket similar to the one Michael Jackson wore in the "Thriller" video, donned a sparkly white glove and paid homage to the King of Pop.
Instead of imitating Jackson onstage (see "Chris Brown, Diddy, Swizz Beatz Rock Summer Jam — Kanye Actually Keeps Quiet"), Brown might soon get to perform with him. Brown is trying to get MJ to sing on a Will.I.Am-produced track that would appear on the teen sensation's second album, Exclusive, due August 28 (see "Pharrell, Will.I.Am Joining Chris Brown's Exclusive Club").
"He called me for my birthday, and I told him we should do a song," Brown said. "He was up for it.
"Man, it was crazy," Brown continued. "He actually spoke to me like a regular person, and he was like, 'I like your music.' He said his favorite song was 'Shorty Like Mine' that me and Bow Wow did. I appreciated talking to him."
Lil Wayne, Juelz Santana ("Those are my brothers from another mother," Brown said) and the Game are just a few other strong candidates to appear on the album, while Tank, T-Pain and Will.I.Am have already put their stank on Brown's new body of work.
"I'm gonna work with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, so I'm probably gonna do something with Justin [singing on it]," Brown revealed. "Me and Scott Storch did a record, and we was gonna put Game's verse on it, but we don't know if we gonna use that record yet. I got collaborations with Mary Mary. I got a song called 'Throwed' with Bryan-Michael Cox that's crazy. I got this Will.I.Am record me and Tank wrote called 'Picture Perfect' and this other one called 'Kiss Kiss' I wrote with T-Pain that T-Pain produced."
Brown said "Kiss Kiss" will definitely make it onto the album. "At first we was making it a little grown, but my manager shut it down," he said of the song. "First [the lyrics] was 'She's chunky, chunky/ She's thick, thick.' But we said, 'Nah, we not gonna do that.' We gotta keep it PG-13 at least. The beat is a hard beat. We changed it to 'She wants that lovey dovey/ That kiss, kiss/ In her mind, she fantasize about getting with me/ 'Cause they hating on me/ They wanna dis, dis, but she's fine, so fine/ And thick as can be.' It's a real chanting record.
"I call me and T-Pain 'the Dynamic Underdogs,' " he added. "Both of us are on the same label, we came out at the same time and we're trying to take it over. I respect him, he respects me. We did a tour early. We already know how to grind as new artists, so we know how to stay focused. He's one of my closest friends — he's down-to-earth. We did two records together that's crazy. It was fun in the studio. We knocked all our songs off in two hours."
Brown's wish list for his tour, which kicks off in October, includes Pain, Rihanna, Bow Wow and Lil Wayne. He says he wants Exclusive to show the maturity in his voice. For inspiration, he's listened to a lot of gospel, including the Clark Sisters, KiKi Sheard and Kim Burrell. He also has had a lot more input on the record in terms of production and songwriting.
"The freedom making this album is just me being able to write a lot more," he said. "I wrote almost every song. I think I'm writing about the same topics [as the last album] but just a little older. I'm not leaving my kid audience, but I'm being who I am and just going in and having fun."
Brown has recorded dozens of records for the album and will narrow them down to the best of the best this summer. "I'm trying to be the R&B Tupac," he said. "I'm trying to make as many records as I can so when I'm out of this world, y'all can still have music from me nobody has heard yet."
That kind of thinking propelled Brown to come up with the album's title.
"First of all, the title sounds dope," he said. "The title is hot. But at the same time, 'exclusive' is something everybody can't get. So when people do get it, it's special to them."