Chris Brown Covers Bilboard Mag, Talks Gaining Maturity From Jail Stint, More

Chris Brown is coming of age right before our eyes.

Since his debut days of “Run It” fame as a sixteen-year-old, the now 25 year old star has dazzled the world with his music and dance moves as well as having been the target of controversy beginning with the 2009 assault conviction ex-girlfriend Rihanna. Ever since, Brown’s been battling various courts dates stemming from aggressive behavior recently diagnosed as bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorders. Earlier this year, Brown served 108 days behind bars for violating parole in October 2013 after assaulting a stranger outside a Washington, D.C.

Despite all the legal issues, Brown continued to put out successful singles, more recently “Loyal,” peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and generated 1.1 million downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Now, with only 11 days left until the release of his album X on Sept. 16, Brown had his first official interview with Billboard about his stint in jail, revealing the experience and what he’s learned from all the drama.

About his daily events behind bars, Chris said the experience was, well, just jail. “A guard wakes you up; you eat. You stay in your cell most of the time, basically 24 hours a day. Maybe on Mondays you go to the roof inside of a cage and have a phone call. It’s isolation. You have time to focus on what matters, on what to do and what not to do,” he explained. He also said the environment wasn’t conducive with musical creativity, but used his free time to sketch and draw as his creative outlet. “I put it [creativity] on hold until I got out. Jail is more of a regimen and a structure. I’m more of a free spirit when it comes to creating music, painting and art,” he explained. “So when I got out, I was very excited to get into the studio. I didn’t have any ideas or concepts; they usually come as I go [in to record]. I was drawing and sketching most of the time, biding time.”

About what he’s learned, he’s said he’s prioritizing what important in his life, and that’s family. His growth as an artist and human being is evident. “I’m just more appreciative of the things I’m blessed with and the things I do: music, being able to take care of my family, being able to see my friends and family. And do what I love and still be able to do it in a timely fashion to where people don’t think, “Oh well, he fell off.” Still being able to be consistent.”

Seems like Breezy is on his way to a new pastures!

Read the rest of the interview here, and check out the video of his Billboard cover shoot: