Following Chris Brown’s parking-lot brawl with Frank Ocean over the weekend, the problem-plagued R&B singer attempted to maintain a lower profile on social media, posting to Instagram on Monday that he wants to stay focused on his work, “not negativity” — along with a controversial crucifix painting.
On Tuesday (January 29), Brown took things a step further when he switched his Instagram account from public to private, effectively disconnecting himself from his 2 million followers. Before making the switch, Brown thanked his fans, a.k.a. Team Breezy, for all their love and support of his music and his art and posted one final message and a redirect to his official website.
“Social media takes away the essence of why we are even special or icons,” Brown wrote. “So with that, I’m detaching myself from that world.”
Before Brown stepped away from the photo-sharing site, he posted a drawing Monday of Jesus on the cross with the caption: “Painting the way I feel today. Focus on what matters!” The symbolism in being crucified was clearly a thinly veiled response to the headlines and scrutiny generated by his beef with Ocean. If Ocean decides to press charges against Brown, it could affect his five-year probation agreement stemming from his 2009 assault of on-again, off-again girlfriend Rihanna.
This is not Brown’s first hiatus from social media: Back in 2009, he stepped away from his then-Twitter account @mechanicaldummy after expressing anger at large retailers like Walmart for not carrying his album Graffiti. More recently, in November, he deleted his @chrisbrown Twitter account after engaging in a vulgar exchange with comedian Jenny Johnson.