Category: Rihanna

When digital beef gets real: What Drake, Chris Brown, Meek Mill can learn


News that New York City police are investigating an early Thursday morning brawl, reportedly between Chris Brown and Drake and their respective entourages at the club W.i.P. in Manhattan, will undoubtedly dominate hip-hop blogs for the coming days.

But as details, tweets, video and denials emerge, let’s get one thing out of the way: Brown and Drake --   whatever this alleged beef is about, stop it immediately.

For some time, rumors of a feud between the two have proliferated, but it's only been in the last few months that fans and bloggers have paid closer attention (and dissected) this alleged beef.

RELATED: Chris Brown, Drake reportedly brawl in New York City nightclub

Of course, fingers are pointed at a certain pop star as the catalyst: Rihanna.

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Chris Brown, Drake reportedly brawl in New York City nightclub

Chris Brown and Drake reportedly were involved in bar brawl in New York early Thursday, June 14
New York City police are investigating a nightclub brawl early Thursday that reportedly involved hip-hop stars Chris Brown and Drake and that left four people injured, according to an NYPD spokeswoman.

Police released no names, stating only that “four people sustained minor injuries, they were transported to area hospitals for treatment and the investigation is ongoing.” No arrests have been made. The Associated Press reported that neither Drake nor Brown was present when police arrived.

Speculation quickly arose that the blow-up may have involved Brown’s former girlfriend Rihanna, with whom Drake has been seen recently.

News reports say the skirmish involved Brown’s camp and Drake’s entourage and left Brown with a bloody lip. Brown reportedly tweeted a photo of his injury shortly after the incident, then removed it from his Twitter site. He also reportedly tweeted, then removed, a note chastising unnamed combatants for “throwing bottles like girls? #shameonya!”

TMZ’s website carried photos of a glass-strewn floor of the W.I.P. club in Greenwich Village after the fracas.

In 2009, Brown assaulted Rihanna shortly before both were scheduled to appear at the Grammy Awards ceremony. He was sentenced to five years' probation and 1,400 hours of “labor-oriented service” for the assault.

Rihanna grabbed more headlines earlier this year with the release of a duet with Brown, “Birthday Cake,” a sexually charged single that prompted considerable speculation that the couple had reunited.


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Photos: Chris Brown, left, and Drake. Credit: Matt Sayles and Chris Pizzello / Associated Press.

Coachella 2012: Rihanna hits Calvin Harris party for 'We Found Love'

To paraphrase Rihanna, whose 10-minute cameo during British house producer Calvin Harris' set at the Sahara Tent was one of the worst-kept secrets of the weekend, "This stuff only happens at Coachella."

The "stuff" of which she spoke was the notion of her performing on a non-arena stage in a booming dance tent holding tens of thousands of people while DJ/collaborator Harris pushed raver-friendly love songs with 130 bpm energy and the masses screamed along.

In fact, they screamed along to Harris' set before she arrived, bouncing along to "Bounce," his track featuring Kelis (alas, no cameo, no hologram), whose recorded voice carried across the tent. The masses had gone batty for Harris' string of infectious bangers: "When the Weekend Comes," played on a Sunday, was a portent for Coachella part 2 next weekend, and "You Used to Hold Me" was a melancholy love song turned up to 11 and filled with booming bass. 

But as the set wore on and Harris' biggest hit went unplayed, the crowd waited for that melody, because most understood that with the melody would come Rihanna. And that's exactly what happened. 

COACHELLA 2012 | Full coverage

Harris screamed an introduction, and the Barbados-born singer pranced out onstage wearing high-waisted shorts and a top with "Peace" written on it. Confetti flew, fog blew out of the machines, the huge video screens strobed, and one of the world's biggest pop stars sang her hit song "We Found Love." It was a lot of hoopla, it's true, for such a short little ditty played exactly the way it's been spun on the radio billions of time before. But her presence at Coachella, as well as her well-orchestrated stage dive near the end of her appearance, got the cameras flashing, the people talking, and the Sahara tent booming. 


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Photo: Singer Rihanna performs onstage at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival held at the Empire Polo Field on Sunday. Credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images for Coachella

Rihanna on Chris Brown collaboration: It 'made sense'


A few short weeks ago, Rihanna and Chris Brown sent the blogosphere into overdrive after they casually released not one, but two joint remixes, drawing the ire and confusion of fans and critics. Rihanna provided vocals on a remix of Brown's thumping dance single “Turn Up the Music” and he in turn lent his voice to her sexually aggressive “Birthday Cake.” The collaborations added fuel to rampant speculation that the two had reconciled. 

Now Rihanna is defending the decision to work with her ex –- the guy currently serving five years' probation for assaulting her three years ago.

The pop diva called into Ryan Seacrest’s morning show on Thursday to talk about a few fluffier subjects, including her upcoming big-screen debut, fashion goals and hair color.

Even Seacrest, the king of idle chitchat, couldn’t resist getting to the meatier subject at hand, so he asked her to explain the collaboration with Brown: “The first song that came about was ‘Birthday Cake,'" Rihanna said. "I mean, we ended up recording them at the same time and executing them together. But I reached out to him about doing ‘Birthday Cake’ because that’s the only person that, really, it made sense to do the record.” 

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Rihanna and Chris Brown put forth two songs and raise questions

Rihanna and Chris Brown put forth two songs and raise questions

Note: This is an expanded review from yesterday's post, "Rihanna, Chris Brown reunite with not one, but two songs."

While the music media world was wringing its hands about Chris Brown’s appearing on Rihanna's remix of “Birthday Cake,” the two former — or current, so far no one really knows — lovers were busy hatching not just one song but two. Not only is Brown lustily serenading Rihanna on “Cake,” but she appears on a new version of his song “Turn Up the Music,” complete with giggles at the end — presumably because they were having such a great time sending confusing, poorly conceived messages to anyone listening.

Let’s break it down track by track: First, there’s “Birthday Cake,” a fire-alarm-festooned sex burner that’s about as subtle as a hot pink thong. This is the song that will really get people talking — and not in a good way. Brown makes a splashy entrance, declaring his intents from the first line: He wants to get joint counseling, of course! Whoops, no. He just misses her body, the same one he assaulted three years ago, and wants to “give it” to her “in the worst way.”

As a mere collection of sounds and beats, there’s a provocative sheen to “Cake” that would make it serviceable fodder for club grinds, but its message is so convoluted given the context that it deserves to drown in the murky waters it was born in.

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Tweets that Pop: Chris Brown salutes Rihanna, triggering Twitter comments

Tweets that Pop: Chris Brown salutes Rihanna, triggering Twitter comments
Early Monday Chris Brown sent an all-caps “HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBYN!” tweet out to Rihanna (a.k.a. Robyn Fenty), and Rihanna replied with a “Thanks!” Coupled with recent speculation that he’s on a remix of her single “Birthday Cake,” haters and defenders wasted no time weighing in:

“BREAKING: Rihanna to have Chris Brown inspired pinata at her birthday party. Happy Birthday Rihanna.” — @ NewsThatsFake

“Chris Brown & Rihanna: The New Bobby & Whitney” — @ RihannaWatch

“The fact that Chris Brown & Rihanna tweeted each other shows they are moving on & not holding onto the past. Other people should move on 2!” — @KizzleBrown

“Rihanna and Chris Brown are collaborating in studio for a new song. I'm sure it will be a hit!” — @VeryRudeTweets

“I would like @chrisbrown fight somebody that can defend themselves. Me curb stomping that ... would be a #wrestlemania moment” — @CMPunk

“Positivity regardless of how u feel! @CMpunk contact my assistant and I'll have em send u an autographed pic for my biggest FAN!!!” — @chrisbrown


Birthday amends: Chris Brown, Rihanna dancing around the cake

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Photo: Chris Brown at the 54th annual Grammy Awards Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press

Rihanna, Chris Brown reunite with not one, but two songs

Chris Brown and Rihanna reunite with not one but two songs

Update: An expanded version of this review can be read here.


While the entirety of the music media world was wringing their hands about Chris Brown appearing on Rihanna's remix of "Birthday Cake," the two former — or current (we're so very confused at this point, please just tell us what is going on, please) — lovers were busy hatching not just one song but two. Not only is Brown lustily serenading Rihanna on "Cake" but she appears on a new version of his song "Turn Up the Music," complete with giggles at the end — presumably because they were having such a great time sending completely insane, mixed messages to anyone listening.

We'll have a full critical reaction posted tomorrow (see update above) but in the meantime, for now, some very snap judgment on the songs. The Chris Brown track is embedded below but you'll have to find the much naughtier "Birthday Cake" on your own.

"Birthday Cake": This is the song that will really get people talking — and not in a good way. Brown makes far from a subtle entrance, declaring his intents from the first line. As a mere collection of sounds and beats, it's provocative and exciting. As a message to any thinking person who's been following their case, it's very confusing. Is this a true sign of romantic reunion or simply two pop stars who are willing to milk their domestic abuse past for more fame and/or notoriety?

"Turn Up the Music": By far the safer track. So safe I can't really think of anything more to say about it, other than it sounds like reconstituted Kylie Minogue. Listen after the jump:

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Birthday amends: Chris Brown, Rihanna dancing around the cake

Chris Brown and Rihanna are tweeting back and forth
One doesn't need a day of observance to fret over the lives of the rich and famous, but with this Presidents Day happening to coincide with Rihanna's birthday, the self-promotion that is the release of an artist's new single suddenly carries controversial, perhaps uncomfortable, weight.

At some point in the next 24 hours, Rihanna is expected to release a new take on her single "Birthday Cake," a song in which the increasingly sexually explicit artist keeps the metaphors as thinly veiled as possible, and a remix of which is believed to feature her former boyfriend and abuser, Chris Brown. 

There's been no official confirmation of Brown's appearance, but Rihanna and Brown are doing their part to feed public anticipation. Early Monday, Brown, who is serving five years' probation after pleading guilty in August 2009 to felony assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna after a party, sent an all-caps tweet to Rihanna wishing her a happy birthday. This was welcomed with open arms by Rihanna, who promptly re-tweeted it. 

This, of course, offers no real clue as to what Brown may or may not be bringing to his much rumored remix of "Birthday Cake," an electro club song that wastes little time in getting to the point, with Rihanna cooing to "lick the icing" over a strip club-ready beat. Yet it is evidence that the two are making no effort to distance themselves from each other or their troubled past, and have no fear of potentially distorting a case of domestic violence into a publicity campaign. Last year, without any objections from Rihanna's legal team, another judge eased a restraining order that had prohibited Brown and Rihanna from contacting each other or getting too close at music industry events. 

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Judge decides Chris Brown should stay under supervised probation

Judge decides Chris Brown should still be under supervised probation

On Thursday, nearly three years to the day after Chris Brown was charged with assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna, leaving her bloodied, bruised and unable to perform at the Grammys, a judge has decided that Brown should continue serving his five-year probation sentence.

Brown's attorney Mark Geragos asked that the Grammy-nominated R&B singer, who was not in court attendance, be allowed to end his supervised probation early, due to good behavior. But Superior Court Judge George Lomeli agreed with prosecutors that Brown should continue to report to a probation officer in his home state in Virginia.

His lawyer's request came after the singer received positive marks from his probation officer, who wrote in a report that Brown has been truthful with officers, passed all required drug tests and “has made great strides” while under probation supervision.

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Deadmau5, Rihanna to perform at Grammy-week benefit gig


Deadmau5, Rihanna, Calvin Harris and Sebastian Ingrosso of Swedish House Mafia have teamed for a special one-off benefit show at the House of Blues on Grammy night.

Roc Nation and the Three Six Zero Group are partnering for the Feb. 12 charity show, which also includes Scottish House music DJ-producer Chris Lake and electronic producer Michael Woods. Rihanna is also slated to hit the Grammy stage with Coldplay earlier that night.

Proceeds for the show will go to the Children’s Orthopaedic Center and the Mark Taper–Johnny Mercer Artists Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. 

Tickets will set you back $1,000 (it’s for a good cause!) and go on sale Tuesday at 5 p.m. via Live Nation.


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-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Joel Zimmerman, a.k.a. Deadmau5. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times.


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