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Our take on the Rihanna-Chris Brown musical ‘reunion’

We know you’ve heard about it by now – Rihanna and Chris Brown chose the occasion of her 24th birthday on Monday to reveal their new quid pro quo collabos with each other – him on her tune ‘Birthday Cake’ and her on his tune ‘Turn Up the Music’.

And they used their closely watched Twitter feeds to let everyone know they don’t care about the inevitable backlash either with Rihanna tweeting: ” “They can say whatever, Ima do wahtever… No pain is forever —– YUP! YOU KNOW THIS.”

Chris tweeted in kind: “Let them be mad!!!!! We make music. Don’t like it, don’t listen! Turn up the music remix is coming soon too! Guess who’s on it?”

Our opinion on this?

It is utter folly.

You know we here at Islandista have lots and lots of love for Rihanna but as a woman-centric site, we have to call a spade a spade.

And before people come blah-blah-blahing at us about forgiveness – please, don’t bother. Save your breath.

People always seem to conveniently forget that forgiveness follows repentance. Even God in heaven doesn’t forgive us our sins unless we repent.

And be honest – has Chris Brown ever seemed genuinely penitent? When? When he was tweeting that he was wrong to have written Disturbia for Rihanna? Or during the three years he let his army of Team Breezy fans berate and denigrate Rihanna in the worst way? Or when he sang the non-too-subtle Deuces? Or best of all – when he stormed off set, threw a chair through the window and stormed outside half-nekkid when Robin Roberts dared ask him a pretty vanilla question about Rihanna? (sidebar: Jennifer Hudson gets asked about her family’s horrific slaughter all the time and deals with it gracefully – just for purposes of comparison.)

He has always come off as sulky and resentful and caught up with the idea of his own victimhood in it all and how much he has been maligned. I mean, his latest album is F.A.M.E. – Forgiving All My Enemies.


So we seriously question Rihanna’s judgement in deciding to collaborate with him. She is not a stupid woman and she knows full well that this will be noticed and commented upon and seen as a signal of something. She has to know that this will be taken up by many of Brown’s defenders/enablers as a cudgel to flay away all criticism of his continuing misogynistic, immature behaviour.

“See, Rihanna did a song with him so why are you still hating on him?”

Because a song cannot wipe away his act nor his subsequent behaviour nor the pass we give too soon to men that commit domestic violence.

We get that Rihanna has no desire to be a standard-bearer or representative for battered women.

But too far east is west and even if she has no desire to stand up for a cause, there is no need to spit in the cause’s face. Which is what this is.

It is poor and it is stupid and I feel slightly sorry for the legions of fans in the Rihanna Navy and Team Breezy who have spent the last 3 years hating the other. What are they going to do now? So it is an insult to many of their fans too.

Epic fail all around.

By Me

island ~ ista
From Latin -ista via Portuguese -ista
one who follows a principle; an adept.

As an islandista I live, embody, exude the spirit of the Caribbean islands.

5 replies on “Our take on the Rihanna-Chris Brown musical ‘reunion’”

I think Rihanna needs as much therapy as Chris. But, I will stand by Chris Brown’s need for constant rehabilitation, since he was 19 when the attack happened. There’s a mix of immaturity along with the need for accountability.

I believe Chris is sorry, but doesn’t know how to be sorry or reflect on his actions to thoroughly understand accountability. Much of this is mixed with the distraction from the public’s harassment of him. It’s not like he’s Sean Penn, Charlie Sheen or Ozzie Osbourne, who can hide behind a publicist or image in the age of Twitter and TMZ.

I think Chris Brown has endured more public outrage than any of the former, and he was a teenager when the incident happened.

We have to be fair. The public has also ignored Rihanna’s need for help too. Both need more rehabilitation.

But, YOU or anyone else can’t get offended if some factions of the public supports and forgives Chris. I have forgiven him, which means I support his recovery when it comes to growth and rehabilitation. I have never purchased his cd but I will give him a chance to grow up and change.

You can disagree, but there are many of us who believe Chris deserves a chance to live.

SparkD, this is actually the most reasoned, fair and humane comment in defence of Chris Brown that I have ever seen.

I definitely take your point about him enduring more outrage than Sean Penn, Charlie or Ozzie Osbourne, who did equally horrific things to women and have not been condemned for them as much as Brown.

Obviously, that is a whole ‘nother issue that speaks to race.

I can’t really agree with your contention that Brown is sorry for what he did, though. He really just comes off as being sorry for what happened to him because of what he did – and as a result resentful.

I do hope that one day he truly is sorry and attempts genuine rehabilitation and attempts to grow up.

“People always seem to conveniently forget that forgiveness follows repentance.”

Because forgiveness should have nothing to do with repentance.

Forgiveness is simply the refusal to let my life and my emotions be defined by an incident from my past. It doesn’t mean that I’m getting back together with someone. It doesn’t mean that I delude myself they are trustworthy.

“We get that Rihanna has no desire to be a standard-bearer or representative for battered women.”

Precisely. To her credit, Rihanna has consistently refused to be defined as a victim. This crass incident is yet another milestone on that road. The horrified reactions of many are, for me, testimony to how difficult it is for the public to accept that refusal.

It does seem that many people aren’t getting the point:


Rihanna isn’t defined by the incident. She will not refuse work based on the incident. She will not hold on to past animosities based on it. She will not be professionally defined by it.

The legions of fans who spent time hating “the other team” need to get a grip and redefine their fanhood around positivity and not animosity.

Neither does it make sense to demonise Chris Brown. His behaviour is nothing less than bog-standard run-of-the-mill for young men who grew up as targets of domestic abuse. Indeed, Chris Brown stands as warning: this is what happens when you let abuse define you.

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