It looks like Chris Brown will not be singing a new song any time soon. On Friday, the R&B singer has been ordered to spend more time behind bars for admitting to a probation violation. The 25-year-old Brown as been serving more time than he would like in jail for the past two months after violation of a court ordered stay in rehab. Brown gets shown no favor from the legal system when court officials ordered the singer stay locked up while awaiting Friday’s hearing.
Finally getting his day in a Los Angeles superior court, Brown testified before Judge James R. Brandlin that he did indeed violate probation after getting into a fight at a Washington D.C. hotel last October, a clear violation of his probation. The singer had been working off his probation in connection to his 2009 felony assault of pop singer and one-time girlfriend Rihanna. The D.C. scuffle slapped Brown with misdemeanor assault charges to an already extensive rap sheet.
Judge Brandlin ultimately ruled to have Chris Brown serve one year behind bars. However, it appears the singer gets about 234 days worth of credits for time previously served in jail as well as his stints in rehab and community service hours logged. All accounted, Brown’s time is shaved down from from 365 days to just 131 days in jail. The court says they could have added more jail time but the judge apparently considered that singer’s affliction with a mental health disorder and his age at the time he physically assaulted Rihanna.
Reports say that even with 131 days to be served, it remains to be seen if Brown actually lives out those days behind bars. Los Angeles jails are some of the most overcrowded in the country and many offenders have been known to be released early out of jail cells that are busting at the seams. Chris Brown’s attorney Mark Geregos says the singer must still clock in 700 hours of community service which, according to Geregos, Brown does not seem to mind. Geregos also says he is pleased the judge did not sentence Brown to state prison.
The Virginia born Chris Brown came onto the music scene after being discovered and subsequently signing with Jive Records back in 2004. His self-titled first album debuted at number two on the Billboard charts and Chris Brown soon found himself thrust into a stratosphere of commercial success. Appealing to both R&B and mainstream audiences, Brown would go on to win BET and Grammy Awards and make acting appearances in movies. Through Browns catastrophic rise to fame, the singer had been silently battling a mental condition that would later be identified as bipolar disorder. With all of his legal issues making headlines, Chris Brown managed to record a new album entitled X expected to be released at some point in 2014. Nervous record executives have been reportedly shelving the project to be released at a later date fearing the negative press will overshadow the music.
For artists like Chris Brown, a criminal past is regarded as something of a badge of honor by some of his fans. From the squeaky clean image of Chris Brown’s early years to his current hardened street edge, the crime and the jail time apparently gets more play than the music which has somehow gone silent, replaced by the sound of a gavel.
Opinion by Hal Banfield