Three years ago, the Huffington Post reported that Chris Brown and Rihanna began to squabble after leaving Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party. “Shortly after midnight, things blew up; Brown assaulted the singer, leaving the now 24-year-old battered and bruised. Brown was sentenced to five years’ probation, community labor and one year of domestic-violence counseling.
Anybody that follows music will recognize the fact that since that infamous day, Rihanna and Chris Brown have been an ever ending story. In other words, it’s ever ending but continuing. If this sounds like an oxymoron it is.
You see neither one of them can find peace or safety in the arms of others. How does one know this? All you have to do is listen to them. You can listen to a person speak by simply watching how they behave; and you can listen to a person by what they don’t say. So when you sum up the total of what they’re doing and saying it equals or rather speaks an axiomatic phrase: “I’m unhappy without you; I’m incomplete without you.” That’s Rihanna to Christ Brown and Chris Brown to Rihanna.
Perhaps you say, if that’s the case why are they not together?
If you know just a little history from that night, the night before the Grammy Awards, along with their record of frequent public outbursts over the last three years, you would certainly have a good idea as to why it’s not so easy for them to be together.
For instance, in a recent interview with Oprah, Rihanna admits, “I felt protective; I felt like, ‘The only person they hate right now is him.’ It was a weird, confusing space to be in. Because as angry as I was, as angry and hurt and betrayed, I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help, and who’s going to help him? Nobody’s going to say he needs help. Everybody’s going to say he’s a monster without looking at the source, and I was more concerned about him.”
Now remember, this is Rihanna speaking in the present. Never-mind he beat her senseless.
Let’s see what Chris Brown has to say; and instead of listening to some verbal statement, let’s listen to Brown speak through his behavior.
On Thursday night, June 13, 2012, the late hours quickly turned into the early morning of June 14, 2012. Without warning, a vicious bottle fight broke out between Brown and Drake at the W.I.P New York City nightclub. At the center of the brutal melee was the beautiful, illustrious R&B superstar vocalist Rihanna. Now on this night, she was not present, nor near the vicinity of the club, and yet in a twisted kind of way, the 24-year-old singer was at the epicenter. The sexy vocalist had been romantically linked to both men, and on this night, that acquaintance proved to be a recipe for disaster. There are conflicting stories that would suggest that Brown made a gesture, an offer of Champagne to Drake. Now this part of the story has never been collaborated, but it’s reasonable to believe that something happened between the two that involved more than eye contact. According to the New York Times, one event followed another, flying chips of ice was thrown in the direction where Brown was standing, and suddenly a bottle was reportedly tossed from Brown’s table into the crowd, according to the New York Times. It was followed by four bottles hurled from Drake’s area aimed directly at Brown. The place then erupted into an all-out fist and bottle fight that injured at least five people. Now this is one version of the so-called facts. I would concede that there are as many versions of alleged facts as there are witnesses to the messy affair. However, whatever those other versions might show, it’s of no consequence to my central argument. The only thing we need to agree to is that Brown and Drake had an altercation, and at the center of it was Rihanna.
From this point on, the Chris Brown/Drake narrative seems to have a life of its own as it feeds our appetite for not only blood and gore but also romance. Rap music, along with their explicit sexual lyrics has jaded our senses and diminished our urge for romantic foreplay. Modern civilization is arguably starving for real romance. Hence the idea of a Brown-Rihanna-Drake triangle or just a Brown/Rihanna Shakespearean interplay feeds a starved culture a brand of excitement it deeply misses.
What at first was a story of love denied between Brown and Rihanna, like Romeo & Juliet, may have become a classic love triangle resembling Shakespeare’s Othello. The story has evolved to feature Brown, Drake and Rihanna.
Perhaps some spectators want to see a blood bath because some of us live our lives in dark uncivilized places. Then there are others that hope the whole thing will only amount to just a few lawsuits as it clearly already has. What I’m afraid about is that this thing will turn into something more like the Greek tragedy Antigone or Shakespearian misfortune, Othello.
Love and infatuation is a funny thing. It drives different people to do different things. Reports have recently been swirling about Rihanna’s depression rising out of a sense of forbidden love with Brown. By the same token, it’s interesting that some of the same rumors have circulated about Brown wanting to get back together with Rihanna. Drake appears to be the odd man out in this equation, and I’m not sure he is altogether happy with that role.
It’s really starting to shape up into an uncontrollable tragic narrative, and the order of events couldn’t make it any clearer.
We are spectators watching the whole thing unfold a little bit at a time. Two months ago, Brown was fanning the flames of this feud when he took to his Twitter account and lunched another one of his typical Chris Brown tirades, tweeting; “It upsets u that I’m not this hoodlum enraged, young black man you wanna portray me as. They did it to Mike… I can handle it! #imdone.” He just can’t walk away, and that’s exactly how tragedy is played out; it orders your behavior.
Let’s hope that we are misreading the tea leafs and take the stance that this too will pass. But it’s not entirely up to us; it’s up to Chris Brown and as surprising as this might sound it’s up to Rihanna too. He can perhaps stop this before it’s too late. I know that the Greeks were unable to prevent their own tragic outcomes, and Shakespeare’s tragedies seemed to follow the same predictable course; sadly, it appears that neither may be able to reverse the inevitable until it’s far too late. Just ask “Antigone.”
So we wait, Brown and Drake have been sued by members of the WIP New York City Club for $16 million. And Rihanna taped interview with Oprah airs this weekend. There’s a tragedy being put in place, and we perhaps will be just as guilty because of our tendency to want to see others fall.