Two nights ago, Chris Brown ruffled his Twitter follower’s feathers when he was sucked into a disagreement with a female fanemy (fan + enemy) who endlessly provoked him and cursed his character until he responded. Her disrespectful comments resulted in a controversial and vulgar reply from the “Sweet Love” singer. “Take them teeth out when u Sucking my d*ck H*E,” he said, inciting a Twitter fued. A large group of entertainment outlets sided with Brown defending himself against the relentless verbal attacks from comedic writer Jenny Johnson (me included) and put aside the events that have preceded the debacle, including throwing a chair threw the window at “Good Morning America” or the domestic violence cloud that blocks the sun from his now pale skin.
This morning, Chris posted this message to his Instagram account: “That awkward moment when the only person u can relate to in the world is dead,” with a photo of the late entertainer Tupac (2 Pac) Shakur holding up his middle finger. I never gave the comparison any thought, but after Brown brought it to my attention, I wondered if Pac would have reacted the same way, on social media and in every other tantrum-inducing situation Chris has put on display.
Pac, known for his gangster persona and sometimes misogynistic/mostly inspirational message through music, has a criminal record that reflects the life of a violent man who you wouldn’t know existed by his songs “Mama,” and or “Keep Your Head Up.” Still, his record is there, with offenses ranging from sexual abuse and sodomy charges to physical altercations with baseball bats.
Pac and Chris have faced the grim view from behind steel bars over illegal and immoral acts towards women. Perhaps it was their troubled childhood… Chris watched his stepfather abuse his mother which could possibly be the reference point for his later violence against Rihanna. And Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, as the famous line goes: “Even as a crack fiend mama, you always was a black queen mama,” suffered from an addiction to drugs. Both men were exposed to life-defining scenarios.
However, Chris who grew up in the small Virginia town–Tappahannock– has not even come close to identifying with the streets in the form Pac has. We doubt Brown has endured the poverty and experiences of a Harlem bred rapper who grew up in Baltimore before settling in California.
Brown also can not match Pac’s classical acting skills and ever-transcending impact in music. With some similar characteristics, including (but not limited to) a nose ring, but pivotal differences, we ask: If 2Pac were alive today, would he embrace Chris?
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