Having delayed X four times already Chris Brown’s latest project X-Files seems like a desperate ploy to keep the inevitable at bay. The well that he’s been tapping – the bad boy of R&B facade – has finally run dry, and with it his identity. Brown is now looking to overhaul his image, and the mixtape as well as his stint in rehab are his most recent attempts at staying relevant.
It’s clear from the opening song (“War For You“) that nothing has changed. Brown is still immature and lewd, and devoid of any substance. Not only does he confirm his lack of skill with boorish lyrics, but he inexplicably takes a shot at rapping as if that’ll somehow contribute to his reformation: [LISTEN]
As a saving grace, Brown commissions veteran lyricists Busta Rhymes and Ludacris to cover his blemishes. But as relics of a bygone era it’s hard not to look at the move as a last ditch attempt to artificially inflate his fan base.
Brown is trying to convey growth, but it’s far too heavy-handed to be natural – after all who tries to bring weed to rehab? Even in a limited capacity he still manages to stick his foot in his mouth (“Love 2 Remember“), which trumps any sort of truth to his claims: [LISTEN]
Simply put X-Files is a strange project. At just six songs it reads more like an EP than a mixtape, a batch of cutting room floor tracks compiled for his own ego. The album art is just as bizarre in that it’s completely transparent. It’s crude and makes him look more dubious than compelling.
The question is how hard will Chris Brown fall once X finally drops because a roster full of high profile artists won’t be enough to carry his antics. “Fantasy 2” works only to confirm his stunted growth, and proves yet again that he’s an outburst away from being a full-blown sociopath: [LISTEN]