Recently the singer Chris Brown added his name to a long list of musicians who are also douchebags. He joined the venerable ranks alongside people such as Kanye West, Robbie Williams, George Michael, Gary Glitter, Beethoven, Mozart, Edward Elgar, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and a host of others who have, to varying degrees I hasten to add, been both ground breaking musicians and utter jackasses.
For those unaware of Chris Brown’s idiocy, this is the ex-boyfriend of Rihanna who beat her up over a certain number of disagreements. This domestic violence has led to the creation of the verbs “to Chris Brown your ass” and “to go Chris Brown on you” meaning to beat somebody up. (What? Too soon?)
As a result of this deplorable domestic violence, it is needless to say that Mr Brown lost a large portion of his fan base. He has been vilified in the popular media and rightly so. Yet I was made to think the other day when one of my students asked me if I liked his music.
I, like countless others, had shunned his melodies as a result of his right hook to Rihanna’s face; but I was made to stop and think about just how inconsistent I was being the other day. I always strive to be a champion of the cause that a person’s music can be good without their personal life being exemplary. I mean, just how often is it that such idiocy displays itself in song? Do certain chords in Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance marches suggest his womanizing tendencies? Do Mozart’s requiems hint at his alcoholism? Do Gary Glitter’s funky sounds inform us of his unhealthy love for children? No, of course not.
So, I went and did some Spotify research on Chris Brown and I found that there wasn’t much to hate about his music. Sure not all of it is totally to my taste, but this guy really is good. I mean, he released his first album at the age of 17 for goodness’ sake! This man worked with Michael Jackson and Prince – two utter giants of the music industry and they thought he was worth their time. Yes, he had some rather large lapses in judgement but this in no way effects his music.
So that’s it – I’m proud to listen to and like Chris Brown and anybody else out there with good music. I really don’t care about the artist’s personal life. Just keep playing that funky music and I’ll listen to it.
Have you ever realised just how many songs are named after girls?