Much to our horror, this week saw reports of a Chris Brown and Rihanna duet emerge online, three years after their explosive split.
Said to have lent his vocals to Fenty’s ‘Birthday Cake (Remix)‘, their alleged reunion has led many to question the star’s motives for teaming up with the oft ridiculed singer.
Now, our friends over at Billboard have weighed in, warning Rihanna against the collab.
Excerpts from their open letter below…
No matter how many parents you tell to avoid taking their kids to your hyper-sexualized concerts, or how many times you command us to “Suck my cockiness, lick my persuasion” on your albums, you are a role model, Rihanna. Mostly because you’re cool! You’re effortlessly cool.
You are Eddie Winslow, and the rest of us are Steve Urkels. When you’re shocking, it’s not off-putting. When you’re crass, it feels fresh. You’re the cool kid in school, and could top the Hot 100 by singing the phone book. And this whole Chris Brown thing could define your career, in the best and worst way possible.
I don’t care about the status of your current relationship with Breezy, or the reports about his attendance at your birthday party (happy 24th, by the way!), or how many seconds his voice will appear on the “Birthday Cake” remix.
Those could be facts, or fabrications. What I do know, however, is that, in the three years and nine days since that infamous, brutal, incredibly disturbing Grammy night attack in 2009, there has never been a point where you’ve publicly proclaimed, “Go f*ck yourself, Chris Brown; you will never speak to me again.”
Not in the months after the attack occurred, when everything felt raw to everyone. Not when your fans freaked out when you two following each other on Twitter again last year.
And not when Us Weekly ran a report that you were still harboring a romantic relationship with him – Brown’s camp denied the report, but you and your camp did not.
Because that “f*ck yourself” moment has never occurred, we can only deduce that, whether or not your current relationship with Brown is even slightly romantic, there is something holding you back from cursing this dude out of your life forever.
If you continue letting Chris Brown slither into your work or personal life, nothing tremendous will happen – bloggers will blog and a backlash will form, but you’ll no doubt continue ruling the Hot 100 and the world will keep spinning.
Yet if you grit your teeth, sacrifice instinct and decide to inspire… even three years removed from that horrific incident, that “fuck yourself” moment, that public banishment of the man who physically attacked you, will still resonate with so many people looking for their own morsel of strength.
You have the opportunity to deliver a message that transcends any lyric you could ever sing, to stand for something that lasts much longer than any three-minute piece of radio fodder. We, like you, all want to let our individuality shine – to know who we are, and just be ourselves – but in this one instance, we need your message to be perfect.
As much as we like Brown, we cosign Billboard 100%.
For, as much as his team would have us believe he has ‘changed’, the image of Rihanna’s broken face remains etched in our memories, serving to dirty his otherwise outstanding career.
If Rihanna is smart, she will distance herself from her one time attacker and deny these reports with the swiftness. Because if she doesn’t, conveniently timed releases like this will continue to destroy what is left of Mr. ‘Run It’s legacy.
Rihanna responded to the letter via Twitter with: