(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Hip-hop artist Chris Brown recently called into WPEG-FM, an urban radio station in Charlotte, N.C., to talk about country music . Well, not really. But that’s the part that came through the loudest for me. Brown admits he isn’t sure what will come next for him, but it could eventually involve country music. “I want to always be able to do any kind of music I want,” he said. “When I get older, I might want to do a country album. Music is for everybody. When you put genres on music, you kind of segregate it.” (Does that mean that if he does a country record, he won’t call it country?) Some of the other things Brown said make me think this might just work. “That’s what music is. It evokes emotion. I wanna mean something to the world. I don’t just wanna do kiddie pop music. I want people to actually be able to grow up with my music,” he said, adding, “I’m just passionate about anything I do. I’m a grown man. I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I love, I love hard.”
But the question is, if Brown did release an album that leaned a little country, what would country fans think? It’s a tough call, not knowing how he’d sound in that context. Personally, though, I’d never buy anything Brown was selling — because of his violent ways. I know his assault on Rihanna was four years ago, but I’m just not OK with that. I bury the hatchet but leave the handle sticking out.