Ciara caused a mixed reaction among her fans when she announced on Wednesday that she would be releasing a song with Chris Brown, who has been labelled as a ‘woman beater.’
The 37-year-old singer shared the news on Instagram, captioning the post ‘CiCi X Breezy. How We Roll 8/4,’ accompanied by a video featuring Chris, 34, and a snippet of the track.
In the short clip, Chris is seen with his head resting on Ciara’s shoulder during a photo shoot for the single’s cover art.
— Ciara (@ciara) August 2, 2023
However, this collaboration didn’t sit well with some of Ciara’s fans, who criticized her for working with the ‘toxic’ hitmaker due to his violent history, including the infamous 2009 incident where he physically assaulted his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, leading to her hospitalization.
Chris Brown faced legal consequences for the assault, receiving felony assault and criminal threat charges, but he managed to avoid jail time by accepting a plea deal. The court sentenced him to five years of probation, mandated 180 days of community service in his home state of Virginia, and required him to attend a domestic violence course. Moreover, a restraining order was issued, stipulating that he must stay at least 50 yards away from Rihanna.
Despite his violent past, Rihanna briefly reconciled with Chris in 2012, a decision she later explained by stating, ‘I was that girl.’ She described herself as someone who believed she could handle such pain, implying her resilience in the face of adversity.
After their breakup, Chris began an on-and-off relationship with model Karrueche Tran, who filed a domestic violence restraining order against him in 2017, alleging threats and physical abuse. The order prohibited Chris from going within 100 yards of her.
In 2018, Chris faced allegations of sexual assault, with a woman accusing him and two other males of the crime at his home. The lawsuit was later settled out of court and dismissed.
More recently, in 2021 and 2022, Chris found himself in legal trouble again when a woman claimed he struck her at his home, and another woman accused him of rape and drugging while on a yacht in Miami in 2020. The latter case was dismissed due to both parties’ failure to appear at the hearing.
Upon Ciara’s announcement of the collaboration, her fans expressed disappointment and concern over her decision to work with Chris Brown. Many questioned why she would associate herself with someone who has a history of abusive behavior, especially considering her self-proclaimed identity as a ‘feminist.’
Nonetheless, there were also fans who showed excitement for the upcoming release of ‘How We Roll,’ referring to it as a ‘dream collab.’ Notably, this isn’t the first time the two artists have worked together; they previously collaborated on the song ‘Turntables’ in 2009 and performed together at the 2008 BET Awards.
Earlier this year, Chris hinted at the project with Ciara, teasing that they had ‘some fire coming.’ However, he kept the details under wraps. Both Ciara and Chris rose to fame in the music industry around the same time, with Ciara releasing her debut single ‘Goodies’ in 2004 and Chris following with ‘Run It!’ in the following year.