"This isn't like a career move for me per se. It's not like I'm promoting my album or promoting records or stuff," he explained. "It's more of me coming out being able to show kids and be what I am, a role model. I know a lot of kids look up to me."
Brown avoided talking about the non-role-model behavior of his past (namely, assaulting former girlfriend Rihanna), and he asserted that he wasn't at the rally just because he hoped it would create positive buzz around him. "Well, it does [help my image], but it's not about the image. It's about a positive cause," he said. "It's not for a charitable event so I can look good. It's not. It's a natural thing that I really wanted to do."
While Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones didn't play a role in inviting Brown for this particular event, he did say that he could see that the singer had a way with his fans. "I didn't choose Chris Brown, but he certainly has a connection with this crowd," he said. "That's why we're taking the extra efforts and doing extra things to try to motivate the population that's difficult to count."
In February, at a status hearing stemming from his plea deal for assaulting Rihanna, Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Schnegg said Brown was "doing really well" at completing his sentence. Brown's deal included one year of counseling, 180 days of community labor and five years' probation. He is due back in court May 11.