Chris Brown is one artist who instantly comes to mind when someone mentions R&B artists who “went pop” or “left R&B.” But as he told MTV recently at a listening session for his next album titled X, he explained he plans on getting back and to what makes him tick. He was recently spotted filming the video for the first single “Fine China,” which he describes as "more nostalgic, bring Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Sam Cooke to it, but also bring a new sound to what my audience and fans are listening to.”
And that seems to be the theme for the whole album: mixing old with the new. Brown says he wants to get back in the mindset he had when he was a fresh-faced teen new to the music scene. "I wanted to have the same mentality as I did with the first album — me being green, me not thinking I know what's hot and what's next, me just being Chris Brown.”
As for the simple title, Chris says X is symbolic for many things, mostly about moving on and rising above the bull. "It can refer to an ex-girlfriend, in terms of you always look forward to moving forward from. It's also about being a reject in a sense,” he told MTV at the listening session. “In me being myself, being able to grow up, me not always hanging around the right crowd or doing the right thing all the time — it's me saying, 'I'm over it. I'm past the bullsh– now.' "
X will host a few features, those of which Brown is tight-lipped about, but he dropped the name of Kendrick Lamar, who’ll be on a smooth, windows-rolled-down track “Autumn Leaves.” "If you're in your car just riding, it's perfect. It just feels like a weather record — an emotional record," he explained. Production credits on X go to Diplo, Danja and others, with Brown dabbling in the dubstep sound, which would suit his dancing just fine.
And as for his public image, he plans on addressing the critics via his craft. At one time, Brown was quite the Twitter monster, retaliating at everyone who tweeted something about him, but now he promises to keep the message in his music. “I express it through my music and through my paintings as well…I'm an open book. I think the way my life is, people want to know all the time, so I have to let them know through my music."
Look for the release of X in August while the music and video for "Fine China" is set to premiere April 1st