The Incident of Chris Brown: Forgiven or Forgotten?

9 Feb

 

 
Chris Brown seems to be on a roll at the moment. He has been gaining momentum from singles such as “Yeah x3” and “Dueces” as well as getting a lot of radio attention in the UK with the song ‘Champion’. However, if we were to rewind back the clock 2 years ago on the fateful night of the Grammys when he assaulted singer Rihanna, many people would have doubted that Chris Brown would have been able to make such a come back into the game as he has done.
The question has to be asked whether the urban world has forgiven Chris for his misdemeanour, or is it simply the case that he was placed in the media spotlight for a while, but we all knew that once the storm was over he will be back to doing music.
Given the noise people made about the crime, domestic violence is not something that is foreign in the world of Hip Hop. You don’t have to search for too long before you come across a record where an artist is benevolent about assaulting women or in most cases a ‘ho’. Eminem is notorious for rapping about assaulting women, he even raps about murdering his ex-wife. Dr Dre’s The Chronic album is littered with rap lines and antidotes talking about assaulting women. These examples mentioned are just some of the well respected artists who think it’s ok to rap about abusing women.
It therefore seems hypocritical that the prominent voices in the Hip Hop world can condemn Chris Brown for his actions and yet talk about the same things in their songs.
If Rihanna wasn’t the global pop sensation that she is now, would people have cared so much? The late Big Pun was also known by close circles for attacking his wife (even attacking using a gun) and yet had a successful rap career.
If art is simply imitating life, then there is a big problem. A study from 1993 to 1998 showed that black females experience domestic violence from the hands of her partner was 35% higher than their white counterparts. Domestic violence is a prevalent problem in the black community that needs firm addressing and seeing it being perpetuated by popular artists in the urban community is not helping matters.
Some would argue that Chris Brown has paid for his crime by apologizing, carrying out his sentence and having his image tarnished. So for him, to start afresh and focus on his music is a positive thing.
On a much wider scale however, this isn’t enough. What needs to be discussed is the role in which Hip Hop has and is playing in terms of domestic violence (also black on black violence) to ensure that young adults are not seeing these issues as a means to justify as well as glorify masculinity, but to see that only weak and insecure fools are the ones who go about beating up women.
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