By Maurice Bobb
Aaliyah is a revered R&B icon, so when news of Chris Brown’s collaboration with the posthumous princess on “Don’t Think They Know” from his upcoming album, X, hit the Internet, there was justifiable skepticism. Breezy released the video for the song Monday (June 17) and from the looks of the positive comments on Twitter, has managed to deliver a poignant ode to end gun violence that doesn’t sully the name of fallen chanteuse.
“Chris Brown is the only artist in my opinion that does it all and continues to deliver AMAZING music & DOPE videos. They Don't Know is dope,” tweeted @TayWest.
Before the Boyz N Da Hood-inspired video begins, the “Fine China” singer offers up a message. “Every two hours in America today a child dies of a gunshot wound,” says “Not CB, just Christopher,” in the opening credits of the video. “Unity is what we are afraid of so fear is insanity, lets love each other.”
Chris Brown & unreleased Aaliyah vocals make such a perfect song. They don't know bout us.
In the clip, CB can be seen rolling in a drop top Impala, creeping around a corner, presumably to commit a drive by, when he says, “stop” and gets out. The visual is set in Compton with black and white film, with the colors red and blue highlighted for effect. Aaliyah’s never-heard-before vocals are added in and her angelic voice adds a very powerful layer to the song. Brown can be seen dancing, of course, with hologram-type images of Aaliyah flashing in the background.
After the video ends with CB singing on the steps surrounded by children, another simple message appears on the screen. “Dear Aaliyah, we love and miss you, thank you for inspiring us all.”
Last week, Brown tweeted that the song and video paying homage to Aaliyah would definitely be released today.
“The new single is apart of my "UNITY CAMPAIGN" which encourages all races, genders, sexes, (everyone) gay or straight to love each other!” Brown tweeted last week.
— Axel.T (@DrickkyB) June 17, 2013
I prefer the Chris Brown/Aaliyah collabo over the Drake/Aaliyah collabo.
— Nkuli (@Za_Maniac) June 17, 2013
new chris brown joint making aaliyah sound relevant as ever
— esteban hurtado. (@sincedaywon) June 17, 2013