Message from Montie

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Dilemma for a Chris Brown fan, buy 'Graffiti' or boycott it because of domestic violence against Rihanna?

Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at


Chris Brown released his latest CD "Graffiti" on Dec. 8

I have zero tolerance for domestic violence, and I feel like if people can't keep their hands to themselves that relationship needs to cease immediately. So with this attitude in mind, I really had a dilemma on my hands because I'd been a long-time fan of Chris Brown since his "Run It" days and bought all of his music. Was I going to boycott Chris Brown's new CD "Graffiti" because of the issues with Rihanna? Should I buy Rihanna's CD in support of her decision to speak up on "Good Morning America" even though I've never been a fan of her music? Or, should I buy Chris Brown's CD anyway as a supporter of his music but not his choices? I chose the last one.


Everyone seems to have opinions on whether Chris Brown was justified in the fight with Rihanna. Diehard fans swear up and down that Rihanna did something wrong and she deserved it. I think that statement is ridiculous. I don't care what a woman verbally says. Rihanna never deserved the butt whooping handed to her in February 2009. But I can't go so far as to say nobody deserves to be dealt with because it's not like I've never been in a fight. I can't even say I've never been in a fight with a guy because I have--once. It didn't last long though, but I can see how anger gets the best of a person and I didn't start that fight. (I didn't lose the fight either, by the way, but fighting is nothing to brag about. However, I never spoke to that guy again for the rest of my life.) I hear the accusations that Rihanna hit Chris Brown first, but we all know her strength does not compare to his. And then what if Rihanna didn't hit him at all, and Chris Brown just beat the living daylights out of her for the reasons in the police report?


I even thought about the accusations that if a man hits you once, he will hit you again. But I was frustrated by that belief because I know of two marriages with one partner who hit the other and then it never happened again, even years later. But to be fair, I have heard and known other couples who had one partner who was consistently abusive. Which category would Chris Brown fall in? Could he beat the odds?


All of these what-if questions and me not knowing either one of them led me to finally say, "Screw it. This is not my business and not my battle." I don't know either one of them. There are three sides to every story--his, hers and the truth. And at the end of the day, Chris Brown's talent has not changed. I bought the CD. Some will find it hypocritical for those who are against domestic violence to support the career of someone who was clearly in a domestic dispute. However, Chris Brown was brought to the entertainment industry to sing, dance and perform, not to be our role models.


Do I agree with what he did? Absolutely not. But if Rihanna forgives him for what he's done and wants him to have a successful career, who am I to judge?


Review of Chris Brown's "Graffiti": Although some of the songs are mediocre pop tracks ("What I Do," "Famous Girl," The Game's verse on "Wait") that I will not be playing again, there are other winners on Chris Brown's "Graffiti," including "Crawl" and "So Cold." The cuts on heavy rotation are "I'll Go" and "Fallin." "Take My Time" is my second favorite song though, and the beat is one of the slickest beats I've ever heard. This song is one that I'd want to stroll into the club on or stay home with that special someone instead of going to the club. However, "Lucky Me" is the one that I think everyone should hear--it's actually the most important with Chris Brown's current situation.


I give Chris Brown's CD "Graffiti" 3.5 out of 5 stars. Although "Graffiti" was a decent CD, there was no track on Chris Brown's new CD that I believe is an instant winner. But I do look forward to him continuing his music career and getting his personal life together.



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jlo0312 said:

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OMG! What should you do? Decisions, Decisions.

Message from Montie said:


Jlo0312, sarcasm is dripping from my screen. Still mad about the 'Pray for Obama' blog, huh?

Dee said:

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I have come to understand that many of these musicians have done something that would test our patience. I read somewhere that after Marvin Gaye divorced Anna Gordy, he hooked up with a 17 year old (Nona's mother). I read years ago t...hat Brian McKnight's ex-wife said that domestic violence was a problem in their marriage. So definately if a singer does something that is reprehensible then yeah, I will not purchase his musick (I haven't bought R. Kelly since 12 Play) but it seems that a lot of them are doing something effed up...

Message from Montie said:


Dee, it's interesting you brought up Marvin Gaye because it was rumored that he used to hit Tammy Terrell. I don't know how true that is, but "domestic abuser" isn't the first way folks usually describe Marvin Gaye (and I'm a longtime fan of his music). However, I agree with a Twitter user who told me if he only bought music by artists that he agreed with in their personal lives, he wouldn't have much of a musical selection. So that brings me to an interesting point, who are blasting on your stereo right now? I'm willing to bet half of them have a not-so-squeaky-clean past.

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