Friends & Former Employees Analyze Chris Brown’s Tug Of War With Career And Personal Drama

Chris Brown’s musicianship and legal woes remain a central focus for those who’ve followed his career since “Run It.” Despite the fact that the 27-year-old artist’s name has been attached to record-breaking feats throughout his career, the Virginia native’s image has yet to be divorced from controversy. For Billboard’s upcoming March 11 issue, the publication gathered statements from those who are familiar or worked closely with Brown, and have seen his high and low points up close.

For HOT 97 radio personality Ebro Darden, Brown’s pubescent success following the release of his debut eponymous album (2005), mixed in with the swift decline in his likability following the 2009 assault of Rihanna serves as the firm base of Brown’s darker moments.

READ: Karrueche Tran’s Friend Files A Restraining Order Against Chris Brown

“My biggest frustration is that we’re ­seeing someone who’s literally one of the most talented people in R&B and ­hip-hop, and he’s once again allegedly putting ­himself in a situation that makes it harder and harder for his music to be in the ­forefront of his brain,” he said.

A restraining order was filed by Brown’s ex-girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, in late February. The actress/model alleged instances of physical abuse, and that her former partner issued death threats. From the opinion of a previous Brown employee, the “Autumn Leaves” singer is “actually a very sweet, sensitive guy,” but when it comes to women, “they’re an easy target, and he’s a bully. It’s not just women — it’s just everyone, and he can get away with it.”

READ: Freedom, Fatherhood & The Future: Chris Brown Is Breaking Bad

In a December 2015 cover story feature with VIBE, Brown remained open and honest when asked how his legacy will be perceived by others. “Some people might say that Chris Brown is going down in history for hitting a woman,” he said. “Or some might say that Chris Brown might go down as one of the greatest who ever did it. But I’m cool either way. Because at the end of the day, somebody learned a greater lesson.”

You can read the rest of Billboard’s feature here.