Anatomy of a Quitter: Examining Chris Brown’s Gracious Early Retirement From Music


Yesterday afternoon, Chris Brown announced via Twitter that he will “probably” end his music career after his new album X is released on August 20th. Whether or not he’s serious we’ll have to wait and see, but Chris Brown’s adieu to the world deserves a direct examination now and for many years to come, as historians evaluate the enormous impact his absence from the entertainment industry will have.

See also: Who or What Will Chris Brown Fight Next?

On August 2nd, Chris was determined to bring “the old” him back. To create music that would have America dancing to his voice once again. To reincarnate the soul of the multi-talented powerhouse who used to be compared to Michael Jackson and not to Bobby Brown. The future looked bright.

But on August 5th, clouds appeared in his doublemint skies like two large bruises around the eyes, with Chris lamenting about his lack of a foundation (fans) and love (fans). He mournfully explains that, while his heart aches for love, he’ll settle for just being liked. Just. A. Like. Unfortunately, most people assumed the tweet was simply another melancholy cry of loneliness–not a sign that he was about to end his career. How foolish of us not to dig deeper into the infinite mental foundation of Chris Brown.

But Chris only became more cryptic as the day wore on, explaining the importance of a “reach” while admonishing those who were “reaching.” But the tweet just seemed like another gasp of fresh air for the sentimental Chris–a simple request that you reach (…or not reach?) for the new album he poured his heart into when it hits the shelves at the end of the month.

But everything became strikingly clear yesterday afternoon as Chris’s philosophy came to a climax in a three-part farewell saga. In his first tweet, Chris mourns over the empty rooms that fill (or don’t fill?) his heart. Something inside of him has been beaten down, leaving only traumatic memories and scars behind. Home is no longer home–and Chris is no longer Chris.

His explicit and decisive declaration of retirement came shortly thereafter. He curses a mainstream American mob for sending his artistic soul and dedication to a metaphysical Emergency Room. He feels entirely hopeless, scared, and alone. The people whom he entrusted with his heart have now picked up their angry fists against him and he has nowhere to go but out of the door … after the release of X.

The pure eloquence of Chris Brown is best witnessed in his final retirement tweet. He provides stunning insight into how monstrous a beast fame can be, as well as getting more personal than ever by saying he’s totally “over” his 2009 assault of Rihanna past “mistake.” It is truly heart-wrenching to see a man of Chris Brown’s moral caliber brought to his cyber knees over the naive misdeeds of his yonder years. He is an artist of wisdom and humility–willing to sacrifice his own future for an unknown greater good. Despite how truly sad it is, the gracious departure of Chris Brown from show business will be remembered forever.

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