In his search to become the perfect musical gentleman, Chris Brown didn't find the inspiration in any of his contemporaries. Instead, the often-controversial pop icon dug into the old-school crates, absorbing vibes from Prince, Sam Cooke, Phil Collins and his #1 muse, Michael Jackson, when coming up with the concept for his new single "Fine China."
On Monday (April 1), Breezy dropped the video for the single from his forthcoming LP, X. The track, which was produced by Roccstar and PK, holds sonic remnants of vintage MJ, and its video, which Brown directed himself, takes distinct visual cues from classic clips like the King of Pop's "Smooth Criminal" and "Beat It."
"It's comparing a woman to how priceless and delicate she is," Breezy told MTV News of the idea behind the catchy ode. "This song is more of a chivalry kind of record, being more of a gentleman, taking that approach of catering to the woman, having more of that love element."
The cinematic clip is centered on a forbidden love, with hints of a modern-day "Romeo and Juliet" scenario. In the video, Brown, who is dating an Asian love interest despite her father's threats, takes his girl for a night on the town filled with danger and dancing. Aside from the engaging choreography, there are some cool visual effects, like when Breezy is driving down a neon-lit street, not dissimilar to the roads in the 2010 flick "Tron: Legacy."
"I'm a big movie guy. I love watching movies. It always keeps me creative," he said of his directorial influences.
What stands out the most, however, is the battle-like dance scenes, which appear to be drawn from Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," when Brown is tasked with saving a young lady in an iconic dance scene. Then there is the final scene, when Breezy's team of underground clubgoers pull guns on their rival Asian gang, who have come to break up Chris' forbidden romance. The clip ends with an intense standoff, just like the one in MJ's 1987 classic "Bad."
"MJ, I can honestly say he's probably my greatest influence," Brown told us. "Michael, he just set the foundation for every other artist to try to be great. ... I'm inspired to be as great and just try to be the best Chris Brown I can be in the process."
What do you think of Chris Brown's "Fine China" video? Let us know in the comments!