By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses
There is no disputing that Anita Baker is a legend in her own right. The R&B singer has been in the music industry for decades and has enjoyed both success and longevity in the music industry.
In a recent interview with The BoomBox, Baker spoke about Chris Brown and was firm on her stance. It seems that she feels that Chris Brown’s talent deserves more attention and has more significance that his much publicized physical attack on his ex-girlfriend Rihanna.
In her interview with The BoomBox, she said,
“He’s an amazing talent. That’s all I could take from him because that’s all I’m entitled to, is his artistry. I take it and I embrace it…I also embrace his, whatever it is that has allowed these young ones to endure what they endure publicly, and to still be able to present themselves to us.”
While I believe that Ms. Baker is entitled to her opinion, I find it a bit disturbing that she seems to gloss over the assault incident that Chris Brown was charged with and found guilty of. It becomes even more difficult to ignore when Chris Brown continues to be in the headlines connected to other accusations of bad behavior.
Ms. Baker goes on to say,
“Historically, in my generation, all of my heroes and heroines have had issues and problems. We all do. Chris Brown is brilliant. That cat is crazy brilliant and I wish him the best.”
She goes on to say that Chris Brown is “gifted beyond measure.”
While I can not understand Ms. Baker’s rationale for saying that we should ignore what Chris Brown did, I find it just outright outrageous for her to suggest that he is a hero. A hero? Really?
I can understand how, through a strong sense of loyalty or love for a person, it can be possible to overlook their shortcomings and continue to love them. Even then, I can not, by no stretch of my imagination, see how it can be expected that we can look at a young man who undoubtedly is very talented and take his talent as a reason to overlook the fact he used his then girlfriend as a punching bag and then went on to display other undeniable character flaws.
Chris Brown has reportedly been “giving back” and volunteering at an organization that benefits children and women affected by domestic violence and if his efforts are genuine, that is good. That being said, I still don’t see how he sprinted all the way from being an abusive boyfriend and crossed the finish line as a “hero”.
Ms. Baker, you’re a very talented woman, no doubt, and I’m sure your also a very lovely woman but calling Chris Brown a hero? That, in my books, is reason enough to wonder if I should ever purchase any record you put out.
I’m not saying that Chris Brown deserves to be called a villain all his life, but let’s not confuse a persona with a person.
Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com