Chris Brown was rightfully charged with felony assault after punching then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. Despite that those punches were heard around the world, Brown’s warm welcome back into the music industry as a convicted woman beater has been a little more than troubling. Especially since Brown has expressed zero remorse for his crime and famously tore apart a dressing room and broke a window when asked about Rihanna on live television. Compound that with the concerning sentiment that Brown’s domestic assault was sexy and you have quite the shitshow. And one that has produced a consistant victim-blaming narrative for many young fans to absorb.
But one Irish rap trio by the name of Original Rudeboys doesn’t want their brand getting anywhere near the convicted felon. So much so that they turned down an offer to perform with him. The Guardian reports:
According to the group’s interview with RTE, reps for Chris Brown approached the Original Rudeboys to open his 3 December concert at Dublin’s O2 Arena. “Even though it’s a huge opportunity to play in the O2 with a major hip-hop star, and a substantial fee was offered,” Sean Walsh said, “we are completely against Chris Brown’s assault on Rihanna.”
Original Rudeboys have explained that working along side Chris Brown not only compromises their own stance on domestic abuse, but more importantly, would tell the band’s followers — especially young ones, I would argue — that they endorse this kind of behavior:
Domestic violence “goes against everything we are about as a band,” Walsh said, “and supporting Chris Brown would send out the wrong message to our fans.”
Someone on Chris Brown’s team seemingly also failed to do their research before reaching out to the band, as The Guardian reports that the band’s new song is all about domestic abuse:
The incident also has a bearing on the Original Rudeboys’ new single, Blue Eyes, which is “about domestic violence.” “You tell your mates he’s great/ but read the clues,” the song’s lyrics advise. “It makes sense to break up and escape/ the way he leaves you in a state/ broken and bruised.”
Oops. May want to rethink that lineup for a minute.
While Original Rudeboys clearly have some business incentives for not wanting to sully their brand with a lady beater, I commend the musical group for considering the much larger impact of their actions. Finally someone is thinking about the kids in all this madness. As much as tabloid stories can be silly online fodder, they can still carry considerable cultural weight and nevertheless become the stories that all of us — even kids — are ingesting. Especially when they involve an issue as pervasive as domestic violence.
Original Rudeboys, consider your new album my stocking stuffers this Christmas.