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Review: Chris Brown Plays The Blame Game On Cathartic Album 'X'

Chris Brown always has some making up to do. More than other artists, it’s hard to hear his songs and not consider the real-life circumstances—his assault on Rihanna in 2009 and the subsequent series of public fuck-ups, including his D.C. assault case, which resulted in a 108-day jail sentence. His relationships and his music are eternally linked. Mentioning the worst sometimes feels like you’re failing at forgiveness. Forgiving him feels like conceding. It’s everything like a break-up. So when Chris sings lyrics like this on his sixth album, X, it seems deliberately twofold: “I’m starting to hate me a little more and more each day/I don’t know me/It’s like I can’t get out of my own way/You don’t love me/You don’t love me/If I knew better, I would do better.”

Playing off this theme of loss and Ex-Factors, X explores the fallout of a failed relationship in all its phases—the fresh grief, self-pity parties, real partying and fake forgetting. Mostly, though, the album dwells on the initial post-breakup aftershock, purging and the holding-on part, versus the smart introspection that comes later. Chris attempts to move forward and find new love. He sort of does but gets stuck looking back. He tries to take blame, but it’s overshadowed by bravado. He’s sorry, but not that sorry. He’s a mess of ego, and that frustrating emotional clutter is what makes this album a compelling listen.

The two greatest loves of Brown’s 25-year-old life (Rihanna and Karrueche) have wreaked havoc on his psyche. A homemade video titled “The Real Chris Brown” that popped up in 2012, showed Chris confessing. In it, he considered whether it’s possible to unconditionally love two women at once and said, “I don’t wanna hurt either or. I’m not trying to be a player. I’m not trying to be a dog, none of that… I just care too much.” Which is funny because in his music lately, he’s been prone to player behavior, as if that’s where he enjoys the freedom of being the angry bad guy without consequence.

The macho posturing is the most flagrant on his groupie takedown “Loyal,” an obnoxious NicNac production and slow-building sleeper hit that you still hear everywhere. Here, in a matter of a few bars, Chris manages to flaunt new money (“Just got rich”), steal another man’s girl (“Took a broke nigga bitch”) and consider upgrading a groupie's status before deciding against it because of her lack of coins. You're forced to love it, conditionally.

Chris has a knack for making memorable songs on forgettable albums (“Don’t Wake Me Up” and “Turn Up The Music” on 2012's Fortune) For a while, he coasted with elliptical-friendly Euro R&B like “Forever,” "Don't Wake Me Up" and “Yeah 3X,” all great guilty pleasures. Those international club anthems seem part of his DNA now, but rather than the vexing rule (like on Fortune) they're the welcome exception on X and feel less forced—"Body Shots" features a weird-cool clash of vocal spasms and synths. The album instead opts mostly for straight R&B and pop from a mixed bag of producers (NicNac, Danja, Anonymous), and it's either snappy club tracks or the type of depressive, moping records currently resonating with Eeyore's favorite millennials.

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City Girls Get "Careless" In New Music Video

In honor of the one-year anniversary of their debut project Period, City Girls has dropped a music video for their song "Careless."

The video stars the rap duo, Yung Miami and J.T., the latter who is currently serving a two-year sentence in Tallahassee. The visual directed by Gabriel "Video God" Hart, features the two rap divas sporting their iced out Quality Control chains rapping in the streets of what appears to be Miami. Both Yung Miami and J.T. are donning the same outfits, distressed jean shorts-underwear, a cropped Miami jersey with a white turtleneck underneath and the classic Timberland boots.

City Girls are showing exactly what they're made of as they rap about "living life so careless," and "h**s [being] so mad it's evident" with an entourage of women behind them. The short clip is full of fun-filled energy as the hot rappers bounce from location to location. Whether they're in a hotel room sipping on some Hennessy, in a store copping a couple of things, they still manage to get their bars off.

The visual is a good representation of what fans can expect from the rap duo, even more so if they see them in concert. Most recently Yung Miami performed the girls' big hit, "Act Up" at Rolling Loud with the help of Lil' Yachty, their co-collaborator on the song. Next up for Yung Miami is the Hot 97 Summer Jam on June 2 at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Make sure to check out their music video above and stream Period in celebration of its one-year anniversary.

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Blac Chyna attends the BET Hip Hop Awards 2017 at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater on October 6, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida
Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Blac Chyna Named As Suspect In Assault Against Hair Stylist

Well, this isn't the best way to celebrate your birthday.

Blac Chyna has reportedly got in trouble with the law again after a confrontation with her hair stylist. TMZ reports the Chyna and the employee who hasn't been unidentified, were at Chyna's home in San Fernando Valley, Calif. when they got into an argument over payment.

The police report alleges after the hair stylist attempted to collect her check from Chyna, the 31-year-old pulled out a knife. The hair dressed left and reportedly threw soda cans at Chyna's car. A source shared with the outlet that Chyna didn't have a weapon on her person but there were cans thrown at her car.

Because Chyna's six-year-old son King was present, there's a chance the L.A. County Dept. of Children and Family Services will get involved for a possible welfare check.

Chyna hasn't addressed the incident but will more than likely still have a nice birthday.

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Queen Naija attends the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 01, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Queen Naija Responds To Backlash For Going Public About Plastic Surgery

Queen Najia's decision to be blunt about her plastic surgery was met with backlash when she was accused of normalizing the procedure for young women.

The singer-songwriter who is known for her bold personality and power vocals shared the video titled, "Revealing My New Body | One Week Post Op Tummy Tuck + BBL (Brazillian Buttlift)" on YouTube Friday (May 10). In a previous video, Naija vlogged her plans to get a tummy tuck while heading to the Billboard Music Awards where she was nominated for Top R&B Female Artist.

The singer previously went under the knife after the birth of her first child in 2017, leading to a case of bad fibrosis. "I'm really really happy about the results," she said. "I basically got a tummy tuck and I got my hernia repaired around my belly navel, it would puff out because of my loose skin. I had really really bad fibrosis from the smart lipo I got two years ago."

In her recap video, the singer seemed to be visibly happy with the results and additional unplanned surgery for the Brazilian Buttlift. "I'm just really really happy. I feel more confident with my body and being a mom with two kids and having two c-sections, and all the stuff going on with myself, I'm really happy," she said Friday. "I will not be getting any more surgery. I won't turn into one of those girls who gets lip fat added and all this stuff. I'm not touching my face. As yall know I got eye fillers and I'm never doing that again."

But her joy was quickly met with criticism after The Shade Room picked up a portion of the video on their Instagram page. Naija responded in jest. "Now if I would have kept it a secret, like a lot of other women who’ve had surgery.. everyone would have saying “Liar, did you get surgery, why you hiding it?” she said.  Lol, I tell the truth & it’s still an issue. Hilarious. Imma take my new booty and hide in a ditch."


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#QueenNaija stepped into #TheShadeRoom to say she’s keeping it real about her surgery, period. 👀👀 (SWIPE)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on May 10, 2019 at 7:39pm PDT

The "Medicine" singer has been open with her journey to building her self-esteem and has shared why she decided to try surgery. "I do love myself but at the same time, you have to make your self happy," she said in 2017. "You don't have to look in the mirror and see what I see. At the end of the say, I'm the one who has to put up with my self-esteem. I tried to diet and workout but I didn't see any results in my stomach area [because of c-section]."

The topic of surgical enhancement with women of color has been a controversial topic, with many women dying for trying under the table procedures. Standards of beauty have continuously changed with social media and influencers holding relevance over the youth but the singer hasn't promoted the option to go under the knife to her fans.

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