For the past several weeks, the anticipation for Chlöe‘s long-awaited debut solo album In Pieces has been approaching a fever pitch. However, the “Pray It Away” singer’s announcement for the album’s “second piece,” a single titled “How Does It Feel,” put a damper on the fervor after fans found out it features an unwanted special guest.
2ND PIECE. HOW DOES IT FEEL @chrisbrown. 2/24 🫀 pic.twitter.com/fjAjW6Sk6f
— Chlöe (@ChloeBailey) February 16, 2023
Posting the title and what appears to be a screenshot from an accompanying music video, Chlöe revealed that “How Does It Feel” features controversial R&B singer Chris Brown. Brown, of course, has a notorious reputation for being… well… a bit of a jackass, to put it nicely. Since the big turning point, his 2009 assault of Rihanna, he’s been accused of harassment, battery, sexual assault, and more.
The singer has his defenders — most notably an extremely vocal contingent of online stans rivaling the stringency of the Barbz, Beyhive, and Navy — including Kelly Rowland, but fans still reacted poorly to Chlöe’s announcement.
her solo career so far has been absolute garbage https://t.co/DAQsxOYxlt
— toss a coin to your witcher (@itsayosigns) February 16, 2023
and u lost me pic.twitter.com/qTnzoboZyd https://t.co/b69r5FE70z
— 🐛 (@pinkfaiyr) February 16, 2023
it's never surprising but still upsetting every time a new r&b girl collabs with this known & repeated abuser https://t.co/X3Zmvcc1QG
— justice (@justiceaudre) February 16, 2023
almost 10k quotes in 30 minutes is CRAZY https://t.co/TyDA0EIrYH pic.twitter.com/abqVUFPtG1
— i be like… DO IT 4 MY BABY! (@SUCKAW0RLD) February 16, 2023
— Ira (@iramadisonthree) February 16, 2023
— micah (@agbspears) February 16, 2023
when’s the solo version being released 😍
— jada did what?? 🧸 (@missjadaangeI) February 16, 2023
oh my god… pic.twitter.com/cW9ZbKZJCM
— sam🤍 (@thesammg) February 16, 2023
To be fair, she’s far from the only young singer to employ Brown’s services as a guest singer. In recent years, Danileigh, H.E.R. Sevyn Streeter, and Tinashe have all dueted with him — a testament to his stardom and appeal in the 2000s (formative years for most of the young women who grew up loving his music). Chlöe Bailey was all of 12 when Brown first fell from grace and likely has her own positive personal experiences with him since.
Still, he’s not the most beloved character in the music world, as the reactions to his feature show. More than likely, this will just end up being a hiccup in what will turn out to be a successful rollout. Still, you have to wonder who thought this would be such a good idea.
In Pieces is due this March through Parkwood/Columbia.