Big Hurt: Chris Brown's problematic timing

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By DAVID THORPE  |  March 31, 2011

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Last Tuesday was an awkward day for MTV.com and the rest of the Chris Brown promotional forgiveness machine — on the same day that his career-saving comeback album was dropped, he appeared on Good Morning America and became incensed by pre-vetted questions regarding his assault on Rihanna. After the interview, it's reported, he stormed backstage, broke a window with a chair, cussed up a loud blue streak, and left the studio bare-chested and fuming.

The folks at MTV couldn't just ignore his chair-throwing, shirt-whipping-off backstage freakout, but they also couldn't ignore the mountain of fawning album hype they already had in the bag. It took some deft waffling to shoehorn an acknowledgment that he might still be a fucking psycho into their exclusive track-by-track preview of his new album, F.A.M.E. ("Forgiving All My Enemies" — laughbarf):

"On Tuesday (March 22), the day his album F.A.M.E. was released, Chris Brown struggled, and failed to keep the conversation on Good Morning America about his music," wrote a furrow-browed MTV staffer. "And while it is impossible to ignore his reported outburst backstage, following a line of questioning about Rihanna, the music is still worth talking about too."

Whew. Good save, guys. Things got even trickier when MTV was set to premiere the video for Brown's new single, "Beautiful People," that very same day. Unable to find a new shirt on short notice after his violent fit of himselfness, Brown cancelled his scheduled MTV appearance. A story on MTV.com seemed to swing toward sober acknowledgment that all was not well in the mind of Brown:

"The timing of his behavior following 'GMA' was problematic, to say the least. . . . As his actions on Tuesday's Good Morning America proved, if his post-show outburst was even half as extreme as reports have made it out to be, he might not have taken that title [F.A.M.E.] to heart just yet."

But just when we thought they might keep him on the hook for a day, they swung gradually back into gush mode:

"Some may see its [the "Beautiful People" video's] scenes of Brown hamming it up in the studio with the likes of Pharrell and Timbaland as nothing short of garish, while others could view them as glimpses into a man who has made his penance and now is trying very hard to move on with his life. His detractors can never forgive him for his past indiscretions, and his supporters — having already forgiven him — want nothing more than to see him smile occasionally. And both sides are right."

Okay, awesome, we're all cool. But regardless of the public's minor differences of opinion about how appropriate it is to continue hyping up a lady-hitting dick sexter, we can all agree on one thing: the song is, according to MTV, empirically b-b-b-boss:

"While the 'Beautiful People' video is sure to be divisive, the song most certainly is not. Because it's totally great: a throbbing, nocturnal knocker of a track that's dipped in equal parts swagger and studio lacquer."

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