A fitting appetizer for Brown's upcoming "X" album.
Chris Brown's new X-Files EP features six brand new tracks that didn't make the final cut for his highly anticipated yet perpetually delayed album X. Although the singer has attempted to distance himself from the media lens and his missteps outside of entertaining, for many listeners, the line between his personal life and his music will remain forever blurred. The EP dropped directly after Chris' recent stint in rehab for anger management, which ended abruptly after he threw a rock through his mother's car windshield (allegedly).
During his time in rehab, Brown stated that "his goal is to gain focus and insight into his past and recent behavior, enabling him to continue the pursuit of his life and his career from a healthier vantage point", and the EP does seem to exhibit somewhat of a shift in his approach. Busta Rhymes, Ludacris and Kid Ink contribute to the dynamic and compensate for Brown's average raps.
Although none of the X-Files tracks have the timeless feel of "Fine China", the project is definitely still enjoyable. CB may still quite limited when it comes to vocals, but he undoubtedly tests his limits, pushing the boundaries of rap, pop and R&B simultaneously, most notably on the opener, "War For You". "It's kill or be killed nigga, you or us / But I keep it movin' like a U-Haul truck / 'Cause adolescence had me stressin', I was too fucked up / I’m gone / What’s the point of you havin' a crown if you ain't got a throne? / If you king you need a queen / I’m gone..."
Although the EP definitely has its share of sappy romance songs, there are a few party anthems in the mix as well - "Main Chick", featuring Kid Ink, for example. This smooth, melodic Californian party starter is a welcome change from the mid-tempos of "Fantasy 2" and "Love 2 Remember", a sunny conclusion to the relatively mellow project.
Unfortunately, Brown's X-Files EP will be inevitably associated with his negative media reputation and repeat appearances in court around the time of its release. Then again, this may be the point, seeing as the album artwork is an illustration of the singer in a straightjacket. Despite his shortcomings, Brown is an unquestionably talented artist, and this new project serves as a fitting appetizer for his highly anticipated album X.
The truth is out there.