[artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] came back hard and fast in his video for "I Can Transform Ya." The glossy, fast-paced clip, shot for two days last month in Hollywood, was the perfect chance for Joseph Kahn to work with the singer again after directing him in "Forever," his upcoming "Crawl" clip and Ester Dean's "Drop It Low."
"I met with Chris when we were doing the 'Drop It Low' video, and he played me a couple tracks off his new album, and he already had a pretty clear idea of what he wanted out of 'Transform Ya,' " Kahn told MTV News. "And, obviously, him going in there and dancing and turning into cars and trucks is right up my alley."
Kahn said the video allowed the pair to display their love of all things "boy culture," including fast cars and ninjas. "His interests, in terms of kung fu and special effects and science fiction and all the boy-culture stuff, it falls directly in line with what I like," Kahn said. "So, we're kind of a great match."
While Brown has faced a lot of negative attention over the past year — pleading guilty to felony assault after a February incident with then-girlfriend Rihanna — Kahn doesn't think that should take away from the 20-year-old's talent. "I know there's a lot of controversy with Chris," he said. "I would never, ever work with him unless he was the person I thought he was and he is, truly. The person that controversy happened to and the person that I know — there's a complete disconnect. Nothing can excuse all that stuff that happened, but everybody's human. That's a really big mistake, obviously, but he pays for [it] daily. When people say, 'Has he been punished enough?' Media crucifixion, check."
Kahn was willing to set that controversy aside for a chance to reunite with Brown. "Look, Chris Brown is — I should flat out say it — is probably the most talented person I've ever worked with in my many years of doing music videos," Kahn said. "His talent is phenomenal. I'm still struggling to try and capture that talent on film, and it's a challenge. Here's a guy who can literally do anything. If you watch this thing, he's doing nunchuck tricks, and I'm a huge kung fu aficionado, and they're mind-blowing. I've never seen stuff like that before in kung fu flicks."
Kahn made sure to put Brown's dance skills on display in the clip. "I would say it's like a pure aesthetic dance video from the very fiber of it," Kahn explained. "Everything dances onscreen. Everything has movement. Everything has a certain mechanical rhythm. He actually created a dance style for this that is mechanical. It's sort of a hyper-intense version of the robot. Even the transformations go directly in line with the movements."
Instead of taking the lyrics and being "pretentious" about it, Kahn wanted to show the audience exactly what Brown was singing about. "What if we just got ambitious and demonstrated the lyrics?" he said about the concept. "The trick is to do it in a creative way. Let's try to display the lyrics and the feeling of the dance at the same time."