When we caught up with Chris Brown last March, he was still rocking a blond crop (remember that?) and he'd just dropped what he jokingly called his "first rap video," "Look at Me Now." Breezy's bars were cheeky, with allusions to yellow Lambos ... among other things yellow — and surprisingly adept.
Still, while featured guest Lil Wayne gave the pop&B singer a co-sign, the YMCMB captain also famously told Rolling Stone that he would stop at letting Brown spit on his own record, insisting, "I cannot have Chris Brown rapping on Tha Carter IV." Weezy offered this by way of explanation: "Do you know how many rappers would be like, 'I can't get on Tha Carter IV, but this n---a put Chris Brown on that bitch? Rapping?' "
Well, Chris wasn't going to sit around waiting Wayne to give him a feature. Having made enough believers out of the chart-topping track, he decided to keep it coming.
"I didn't sing on the record at all. It just was a rap song," Brown told us when he visited the MTV Newsroom last week, incidentally, hours before he found himself at the center of a bottle brawl with rapper Drake. "So I was like, 'Cool, if they going with it, I'm gonna keep going.' "
Freestyles followed as Chris shored up his rap cred. And on the upcoming Fortune, he put the growth on display, teaming up again with F.A.M.E. collaborators Big Sean and Wiz Khalifa for the drum-laced "Till I Die."
But Team Breezy shouldn't worry that Chris plans to quit crooning. Though he has the full blessing of his (initially reluctant) management team to craft sweet 16s, he's just having a good time. "With the hip-hop and the rapping, it's more of — I wouldn't say [a] hobby — it's just me expressing myself.
"I'm not going to sit here and say I'm the best rapper or I'm a rapper," he added with a big smile. "I'm just saying I could do it, I guess, if y'all like it."
How do you rate Chris' skills as an MC? Share your thoughts in the comments below!