Chris Brown Talks New Album ‘X’, Showcasing Improved Vocals, Learning To Be Smarter


Haven’t been this excited for a Chris Brown album in a while. His last two albums were very hit and miss for us, but they both had gems here and there. It just seemed like somewhere along the line, Chris felt like he had to dabble in every sound possible in order to keep his fans happy; and that led to lackluster LPs the last 2 years, and lots of arrogance filled records. Well, the birdie must’ve gotten back to him because now, the guy everybody loves to hate says he will be returning back to his 2004 roots on his new album X, which is slated to be released in August, and spear-headed by the lead single “Fine China.” Recently MTV caught up with Chris in the studio. Check out what he had to say:


On being over Social Media and letting his music talk for him

“I think it’s smarter as an entertainer and as a leader,” he said, trying to leave behind last year’s Twitter tussle with a female comedian and February’s lengthy Instagram rant. “I have to think logically. When I’m too attainable, it makes me too down. Now I express it through my music and through my paintings as well. What I want to talk about comes out, and the beat fills in the rest. All of it coexists with my reality now. 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.”

On his first single, “Fine China” and new album ‘X’

“For the first single, I wanted to go 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,” he said. “For this album, 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. I think this will show my vocal ability a lot more. I’ve developed a falsetto, I can sing at a higher register, and I can elaborate more on my skill.”

On his record “Autumn Leaves” with Kendrick Lamar

“If you’re in your car just riding, it’s perfect. It just feels like a weather record — an emotional record,” he said of the slowed-down selection with a bass line that sounds like a heartbeat. “I feel a certain way when I hear it.”

On the meaning behind the album title

“The song and the album title ‘X’ has a couple different meanings,” he explained. “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. 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.’

On his songs with Danja & Diplo

“Add Me In” is a cute, clever offering that makes mathematics a metaphor for love. “Your love is trigonometry/ Just trying to solve the whole equation,” he sings on the track. Produced by Danja, it’s more of a throwback with an industrial sound that Brown calls “old-school with a new-age feel.”

Also produced by Diplo, the title track is an enigma from the start, blending 808s with a trance-like, dubstep buildup. “If you’re only as good as the company you keep/ I’ll keep my secrets in a safe house,” he coos before the building beat drops and he declares, “I swear to God, I’m moving on!’

“It’s a pop song, but it’s still hip-hop,” Brown said of “X.” “Pop producers added hip hop to it to make it more epic.”



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