Chris Brown has collaborated with a long list of rappers over the course of his career, but for his upcoming album X, he just couldn’t turn in the project without a verse from MTV News’ “Hottest MC in the Game,” Kendrick Lamar , who shows up on “Autumn Leaves.”
Brown told MTV News that his collaboration with the Compton rapper will likely surprise fans who are trying to predict what he has in store and that they’re gonna “make magic with that.”
“I think people automatically assumed [that] with me and Kendrick Lamar, if we actually collaborated, it’s gonna be a club joint, but for me, I always like to change and switch the envelope,” he explained, noting that it’s something he’s always tried to do when working with rappers. “Even when I did Juelz Santana on ’Run It,’ at that time, real hard-core [rap music] wasn’t really fusing with R&B like that. I try to change it up as much as possible. It’s what I love to do.”
So while K. Dot and Breezy could easily churn out a hit for the clubs, they actually went in a completely different direction. “Me and Kendrick on ’Autumn Leaves,’ it’s more of a sit in your car and ride-to record. It’s a real laid-back record, but it’s also a substance record,” he revealed, explaining the intended metaphor in the title. “It’s basically saying [that] you put in so much to get so little. Whether it be in relationships or just in life, you work hard for something all the time and get so little, but you still hold on, like the last leaf in autumn.”
Another big collaboration on the album will be the Rihanna duet “Put It Up,” which also finds him trying to break the mold from their previous work together. “I wanted to do an R&B record with Rihanna, because I didn’t want it to be the same four-on-the-floor pop,” he told MTV News. “At the end of the day, that’s what they expect from us, so I wanted to do more of a record that nobody really heard her sing on as far as that genre.”
With such a concerted effort to bring something new to the table, X is setting up to be quite the memorable album. Brown plans to shoot 10 accompanying music videos to complete the package.