While not a Chris Brown fan, I was aware of him when he first premiered and was into his early hits. However, like many, after the Rihanna assault, I found myself conflicted. Like with R. Kelly, as much as you may enjoy some of the musician’s music, it became hard to separate the performer from the person. Someone who didn’t just mess up once but was a habitual offender.
But, as they say, there are two sides to every story and we have heard the side of Chris’ exes and everyone under the sun outside of him. So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Chris Brown: Welcome To My Life. A documentary focused on him speaking his truth.
What we get presented with in Chris Brown: Welcome To My Life is an overview of his life from his humble beginnings to around when he learned he was the father of Royalty. With that, we hear about him being this up and coming talent to some considering him the next Michael Jackson, Though, to those who were a bit more realistic, the next Usher.
That is, until the Rihanna assault and that is perhaps the main focus of the documentary. How that relationship, and one key moment, led Chris on a downward spiral. One which so many, from Usher to Jamie Foxx, and DJ Khaled, applaud him for surviving. All the while others speak solely of his artistry, like Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Lopez.
But the overall goal here is seemingly to show a more mature, if not reflective, Chris Brown. Someone who is working through a whole lot of trauma and trying to make sense of it. Never mind trying to work against so many who continuously define him by one moment of his life he seems to be unable to escape. Yet, for the sake of his career, for the sake of his daughter, for the sake of his sanity, he does his best to persevere.
Sometimes you try to run away from the one thing that you don’t wanna become, and you become it.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
Chris Brown Seems To Be Keeping It Real With You
Being that this movie cuts off around 2015, it doesn’t go into Brown’s latest saga of nonsense with Karrueche Tran. However, when it comes to Rihanna and some of the legal issues he has had, Chris just nonchalantly talks about everything. Almost like he is tired of staying silent and letting his fans defend him. Being that he has had time to reflect, and isn’t being asked questions by someone poking and prodding, but rather just speaking to a camera, he is ready to put his side out there. To just let people react to his truth vs. having to deal with the reaction of any of his statements then and there.
And truly, if it wasn’t for the Karrueche saga which still goes on, you’d think Chris was at a point where his darkness and foolishness was behind him. For with the way he talks about Rihanna, his mom’s ex who was physically abusive, and other situations, you’d think between therapy and anger management he learned something. That maybe he has matured since the named incidents. Yet, with it being noted by his mom, before Chris really became big, that he should seek out therapy before what was to come, it leads you to wonder if he really unpacked all that has troubled him? Much less, has he continued the healing process past what he was courts ordered to do?
For while so many artists tout his talent, and note his hits, it is hard to hear Chris Brown talk about depression, hear about him supposedly losing his virginity at 8, and not wonder if he has gone back to avoiding getting the help he truly needs.
Too Many Singing His Praises
As Chris Brown keeps it fairly real, it seems all these famous media personalities refuse to really criticize Chris Brown or his actions. For with “You have to give props for him making it through all that” or “The media doesn’t show the real Chris Brown” kind of talking points, you get this sense that no one is really holding Chris fully responsible for what he has done. Almost as if they just consider it growing pains which come with fame, immaturity, or maybe, as Usher alludes to, not having the right people in your corner.
But I guess with Chris Brown admitting to his faults, they couldn’t have his peers also note, without filter, how stupid some of Chris’ decisions were. Especially considering his talent and what his career trajectory could have been.
Overall: Mixed (Divisive)
It’s nice that the majority of the documentary focuses on what you wanna know, that is life after the Rihanna incident, but with everyone but Chris trying to make light of his situations, if not bring a sort of optimism to it, it makes you wanna roll your eyes. For while I wasn’t looking for them to just utterly rip him to pieces, it would have been nice if they balanced their praise of him as a person, or a performer, with some real criticism you know? For while there is the occasional thing from Mike Tyson, Usher, and I think Jamie Foxx, they are presented in a shady way. The type of way where unless you really take note of what they are saying, it could easily go over your head and not be noticed.
Hence the Mixed label. For if Chris Brown didn’t end up screwing up again after this documentary, then you could say this was his statement of what was then and this is who I am now. However, with all that has happened since this was released, it really pushes you to believe Chris Brown needs to voluntarily get help and not wait until it is court ordered. For, again, there is a lot hinted by himself, and others, that leads you to believe there are things he probably still needs advisement to work through. Yet, going by his own lyrics, it seems women and weed is how he medicates. Which makes this depression he talks about, mostly after the Rihanna incident, seem to be something he truly isn’t trying to face.