Music fans are attentive to the realities surrounding Chris Brown, Rihanna and Drake. Though much of the attention this week has zeroed in on Brown due to the lecture he received in court for flunking a Virginia drug test. The famous singer was able to escape punishment because the judge concluded that she did not order regular drug tests in his case. As Brown listened intently to a stern warning from Judge Patricia Schnegg, the VMA winner knew the outcome could have been much different.
Much of Brown’s life during the 2012 year has reflected the fruit of the R&B singer’s climb back into a respectable music superstar. However, another story seems to be pushing itself into the forefront. There appears to be an inextinguishable fire of passion and love burning between both Chris Brown and Rihanna, which has taken on a life of its own. It’s a story that may have gone unnoticed until the Brown–Drake collision undoubtedly altered the recipe. Hence this article attempts to put meaning behind what appears to be a real life love tragedy unfolding before public eyes. My point, is what do we make of the past, how do we interpret the present and what does the future hold for the trio.
“Trilogy in Hollywood,” I guess that’s as good a name as any for a working title about Chris Brown and Rihanna. I know; you’re saying ‘that’s not a trilogy, that’s a couple.’ Yea, I hesitate a bit to bring Drake into the picture, but as fate would have it, he inserted himself in the mix. I would love to dismiss him and just make this a Romeo and Juliet type of story, but Drake, the guy inserted himself in the mix and now he’s part of the ingredients.
It was said that producers of the 2012 MTV VMAs like to live dangerously. According to a celebrity seating chart, Drake, Rihanna and Chris Brown will be seated in the front row within bottle-throwing distance of each other. If you don’t get the joke, perhaps you recall, Drake and Chris Brown were involved in a club brawl–presumably over Rihanna–that left several patrons injured and lawyers sharpening their talons. It was a June 2012 event. So the last thing anyone expected was for them to be in the same building, nevermind the same section of a theater.
But there they were, Christ Brown, Drake, and Rihanna; all three at the MTV VMAs. And what happens? Chris Brown beat Drake at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, receiving VMA’s coveted Best Male Video Moonman trophy; an honor Drake was up for, too. But that’s not all Brown seemed to win that DNC Thursday night.
By most accounts, Chris Brown and Rihanna had a glorious time at the VMAs while Drake unenthusiastically spent the evening with Lil Wayne ad Nicki Minaj.
The story unfolded with, Brown greeting Rihanna with a kiss and a hug after she received VMAs ultimate recognition, Best Video of the Year Award.
If you’re keeping score, Brown 3, Drake 0. How did I arrive at that total? Brown Beat Drake for Best Male Video; that 1 plus, Rihanna wins Best Video 2012 and Brown gets Rihanna, that’s two more right there the girl ain’t going nowhere without her Moonman trophy. So you do the math; 1+2 = 3.
According to a report from Hollywood Life, Chris won a VMA for Best Male Video for his song “Turn Up the Music.” And Drake? He was part of a joke host Kevin Hart told, but Chris was in on that as well!
He addressed the crowd and the viewing audience briefly, saying, “Well, uh, I’ll make it real short. First and foremost I want to thank Team Breezy. This is my first time actually being able to direct a video by myself — and bring [my] vision to life. So I just want to thank everybody — all my management team, RCA, MTV, I thank everybody. I love ya’ll — my fans,” Chris said after receiving his award.
Brown beat out stiff competition from the likes of Justin Bieber and his NYC bottle battler Drake, proving that even though he has a bit of a bad reputation and is known for his temper, the fans still love him; and so does Rihanna.
As I implied earlier, there were some concerns that Breezy and Dreezy in the same house, along with Rihanna, might prove crazy, but no one stepped out of line. There weren’t any home views shown of Chris’s girlfriend Karrueche Tran, so it’s uncertain if she even attended the VMAs.
All in all, Chris Brown had a great winning night–as did Rihanna.
Now Drake didn’t walk away empty handed after losing out on the big award, instead, he won the lightly regarded Best Hip-Hop Video award.
When I look back on that day, it could be said that MTV had taken sides in the whole Chris Brown-Drake feud. Brown won Best Male Video at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday night, besting his former friend, Drake. Earlier at the VMAs, host Kevin Hart joked about Brown and Drake’s New York City nightclub feud, saying Drake had thrown the bottle in a misguided attempt to recycle. Brown didn’t seem fazed by the jokes, and gave Hart a high five before accepting his Moonman statue. Brown’s ex-girlfriend Rihanna won for video of the year, while One Direction took home a number of awards, including best pop video and best new artist.
But it got worst for Drake as a camera captured both Rihanna and Chris Brown giving each other a hug and a kiss amidst rumors that the two would be making some formal appearance together at the award show. Make of it what you may; I always wonder what role Karueche is really playing in Chris Brown’s life.
Brown is clearly as the height of an illustrious career. And you know you’re the “Man” when you receive praises from R&B legend Anita Baker, who applauded the singer’s ability to succeed professionally while dealing with personal trials and tribulations under public scrutiny.
“I also embrace…whatever it is that has allowed these young ones to endure what they endure publicly, and to still be able to present themselves to us,” she admits. “Historically, in my generation, all of my heroes and heroines have had issues and problems. We all do. Chris Brown is brilliant. That cat is crazy brilliant and I wish him the best.”
For you to grasp the portrait I intend to paint, I’m going to have to reach back into time, beginning around the time that Brown and Rihanna’s split, Drake’s move up on Rihanna, Rihanna Dumps Drake, Brown’s struggle without Rihanna in his life, the New York Brawl that crystalized the image of a trilogy, and then the analysis.
Now as I take you back in time with me, perhaps you had a first love; most people have. I’m assuming you’re like me, you’re not with that person presently. But if were to stumble upon a genie in a bottle that could grant you three wishes, I’m willing to bet that one of your wishes would include an opportunity to make that one relationship that regrettably has ended, to have a chance to renew the love that was lost; I’m willing to bet it would be one of your three wishes. It doesn’t matter that it ended; it doesn’t matter how it ended; you’re over that now; what matters is that you wish it had never ended. If you can remember that, then you will be able to understand the Chris Brown—Rihanna Story.
Now before we go all the way back, let me paint the picture of love in the aftermath of loss.
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 Chris 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. Their narrative is really starting to shape up into an uncontrollable tragic narrative, and the order of events couldn’t make it any clearer. What we have here is the making of a real life Romeo and Juliet story with all the accoutrements of a Greek tragic drama. Rihanna’s recent interview with Oprah showed that through the criticism she remains true to her roots, continues to grow and may never get over her profound heartfelt connection with Brown.
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.
But what was revealed in the Oprah interview was the fact that Rihanna still harbors feelings for Brown.
Rihanna revealed that closure with her violent father let her forgive the abuse by Chris Brown.
“I lost my best friend … everything I knew switched, in one night.”
Following Oprah’s interview, Chris Brown’s mom took to Twitter and posted a series of cryptic messages.
Fans suspect they may have been directed at Hawkins’ son’s ex-girlfriend, especially after Rihanna spoke extensively about their relationship on OWN. Hawkins is Brown’s mom.
Fighting tears, Rihanna admitted during her interview with Oprah that Chris is the “love of my life”, that he was her “best friend”, that they still love each other and are very close.
Hawkins, who has reportedly remained close to the singer since her relationship with Brown ended in 2009, then posted this series of messages:
“TELL THE TRUTH AND SET YOURSELF FREE”
“NOT UNTIL YOU TELL THE TRUTH WILL YOU EVER BE FREE!!!!!! PEACE SOMETIMES COMES WITH A PRICE”
“DID YOU SAY SOMETHING? DID IT HELP ANYONE?”
Only Joyce knows for sure what she meant and who those Tweets were directed toward, but the timing couldn’t have been a coincidence, right?
But it’s more of a story of love denied between Brown and Rihanna, like Romeo & Juliet. Yet the story has taken a life of its own. It has evolved to feature Brown, Drake and Rihanna; becoming a classic love triangle resembling Shakespeare’s Othello. But when it’s all said and done Brown and Rihanna will have to deal with its tragic aftermath. Success or failure, they’ll have to deal with it.
We are spectators watching the whole thing unfold a little bit at a time.
And so now, I’ll take you inside that car ride three years ago. Though deeply in love, Brown and Rihanna began to take each other for granted. So as they drove away, leaving Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party, Robyn Rihanna Fenty picked up Brown’s cellular phone and observed a three-page text message from a woman who Brown had a previous sexual relationship with.
Part 2 will take you through the split, Rihanna meets Drake and they record “What’s my Name?”
Drake give MTV an interview, where he says: she made him feel like an unknown kid from Toronto all over again.
“She’s just such an overwhelming and incredible person,” Drake explained. “And such a talented person and someone that I was like, ‘I can’t believe I’m here talking to this individual,’ that she just gave me that feeling like when I was 17 years old trying to take Nikki Ramos, this girl from Toronto, out on a date and she never wanted to go with me. She never would go; she would have a million excuses why she couldn’t talk to me. That’s how [Rihanna] made me feel, she made me feel small; she made me feel nervous. It just put me back to the Acura in Toronto, feeling like Aubrey Graham, not Drake.”
That’s a preview of “Trilogy in Hollywood: A Chris Brown, Rihanna Love Story”
While I know my interpretation of event involves quite a bit of speculation, nevertheless, when you look at the sociology of human behavior there are some continuities that indicate human behavior is quite predictable when placed in similar conditions. The great writers of history have all taken their turn in trying to understand why we do what we do. Interestingly, it appears that ancient writers of tragedy were some of the more successful in their predictions. I’d like to say, my approach has been informed by the rules laid down by their efforts.