That Chris Brown and Rihanna dropped two new tracks together Monday night, only a few years after Brown bashed in Rihanna’s face, is a special kind of baffling, and leaves critics with much more to consider than just the music. Some of the stronger reactions:
From the Los Angeles Times:
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?
The Village Voice isn’t exactly thrilled by the new releases:
To celebrate, I’m going to take a lye shower.
The Prophet Blog has some choice words:
Rihanna’s spent the past few days laughing and joking on Twitter, rubbing the collaboration in everybody’s faces and sending out cryptic tweets like it’s all a game. It shows a lack of respect for her fans, and everybody who has looked up to her. Chris Brown has acted like a rude, ill-mannered, violent, homophobic brat since the assault took place, yet that hasn’t stopped Rihanna from turning the whole situation into a joke.
From the New York Times:
It displays an advanced understanding of marketing and an understanding of moral obligations and ethics that’s not much more than rudimentary. It is a woman publicly accepting her abuser — nothing more, nothing less.
The UK’s Telegraph breaks down the lyrics to “Birthday Cake:”
It’s ballsy and defiant, a “this is us and it’s OK” standpoint. References to “killing it” and “heart attacks” don’t help matters, and nor does Rihanna saying “remember how you did it”.
Most of us won’t be able to forget how he “did it” and – unless you’re an imbecile – it’ll be hard to wave your hands in the air in the clubs to “Birthday Cake.”
Agreed. That’s one dance we’re going to have to sit out.