In the immediate wake of the incident that should have killed Chris Brown’s career, the singer’s P.R. team rushed to salvage his tarnished image, hoping to recast him as the jiggy-dancing, dream-date teen star he used to be. It was a lost cause. That Chris Brown died the night he bloodied his famous girlfriend, and the one that emerged in his stead was far nastier: an unrepentant, grudge-bearing monster who over the next two years clawed his way back into fame’s conscienceless inner circle with the brutal determination of a shadowy figure in a slasher film. Brown reclaimed his stardom not by apologizing for what he did, but by owning it. He often even conveys a sense of stubborn pride about it, a detestable posture that has soured every album he’s made since. Bad people can create worthwhile art, of course, but more than Ike Turner, R. Kelly, or nearly any other musician with a sordid history, Brown makes it impossible to separate his music from his transgressions. Fortune is, like his previous post-Rihanna albums, the unmistakable work of the same petty, violent-tempered hardhead that the tabloids have documented so well.
This review is a spectacular takedown of the worst figure in music right now, Chris “I Beat Women Into Comas” Brown.