Even as the [news id="1606550"]court case[/news] against him moves forward, [artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] is reportedly working on new material for his follow-up to 2007′s Exclusive. Rihanna, who was [news id="1604672"]allegedly assaulted[/news] by the singer on February 8, is also said to be recording music for the follow-up to her 2007 smash, Good Girl Gone Bad.
The artists are tending to their professional responsibilities as their personal lives have become tabloid fodder thanks to the felony assault and criminal threats charges lodged against Brown on Thursday in connection with the alleged February 8 altercation that left [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist] with bruises, contusions and bite marks on her arms, legs and face. Both artists are attempting to focus on their musical efforts at a time when they are facing intense scrutiny over the alleged assault, with potential fallout, especially for Brown, that could seriously impact his [news id="1604786"]career prospects[/news].
One of the producers reportedly working with Rihanna on her next album, Adonis Shropshire (Mariah Carey, Usher, Beyoncé), who has produced songs on both of Brown’s previous albums, told HipHollywood.com that Rihanna is “doing OK … I mean, of course [with] the situation, she’s all right.”
Shropshire said the sessions so far have been relatively light for Rihanna. “You have to remember, she’s still a kid,” he said of the 21-year-old singer. “With anybody in the world that goes through something, you have to bring yourself out of it. So I guess her refuge is her music, of course, as it should be. … Of course, there’s still remnants of whatever from time to time … But she’s definitely trying to move forward. … She’s really just easing back into it, just a couple of ideas here and there over the last couple of weeks. It’s coming out good.”
As for how the music is sounding, Shropshire said it’s going in the “same direction” as Good Girl, which spawned a series of hits, including “Umbrella,” “Don’t Stop the Music,” “Rehab” and “Disturbia.”
“[It's] just an evolution of what she already is, you know: super-poppy,” he said, noting that the singer is trying not to let the alleged altercation affect her studio time. “She always brings her best efforts every time she steps into the stage or the studio. [Her next album will] eclipse what she’s done before, so it’s going to be hot.”
Island Def Jam head L.A. Reid told MTV News shortly before news of the alleged altercation broke that he is “loaded” with music for [news id="1604904"]Rihanna’s next album[/news].
Spokespeople for Rihanna and Shropshire could not be reached for comment at press time.
An unnamed source close to Brown told People magazine that the singer, who has lost some lucrative endorsement deals and seen some of his [news id="1604845"]songs banned[/news] from a handful of radio stations in the wake of the allegations, is “trying to keep his career moving forward,” noting that Brown spent the two nights before his court appearance on Thursday at the Glenwood Place recording studio in Burbank, California, recording new tracks.
Brown, who [news id="1606071"]reportedly reunited[/news] with Rihanna recently, was charged with two felony counts on Thursday, assault and making criminal threats; he faces more than four years in prison if convicted on both counts. Brown has not pleaded to the charges yet, but is expected to do so at his next court date on April 6. A spokesperson for Brown did not return requests for comment on his musical projects.
Despite the controversy surrounding him, Brown has reportedly been working hard on tracks for his third album, reportedly due out later this year and titled Graffiti, in studios in Florida and California over the past few weeks. His MySpace page recently promoted his nominations at the upcoming Nickelodeon March 28 Kids’ Choice Awards, urging fans to vote for him. Brown is competing in one category, favorite song, with Rihanna, who is nominated for “Don’t Stop the Music.”
With the two felony charges hanging over him, a possible trial and potential prison time, it remains to be seen if the album will come out as scheduled this year, even if, as reported, Brown can secure a plea deal that would help him avoid prison time in the case.