Rihanna’s ‘Birthday Cake’ remix a recipe for disaster

Rumors began circulating around the Twitterverse after Billboard.com first reported that Rihanna and Chris Brown, the couple once on the outs, was going to be collaborating on the revamped and remixed version of Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake.” With backlash from both critics and die-hard fans alike, Rihanna’s participation in this project would be both a horrible and irrational decision. Apparently, the rumors are true.

Collaborating with Brown, after the emotional and highly publicized “incident” in which Brown physically abused Rihanna after an argument, is a veritable slap in the face to the fans that support and look up to Rihanna.

It’s okay to forgive, in fact it’s probably the most important step in the healing process, but it is indeed very hard to forget what Brown did to Rihanna.

“Putting Chris Brown on a Rihanna song is an irresponsible, reckless stunt that teaches that after biting, choking and beating a woman to a pulp, begrudgingly appearing in court and going out partying the same night, calling Raz B a faggot, throwing a chair out the window in an anger-induced rage on Good Morning America, calling a LAPD policewoman and paparazzi members ‘gay’ and ‘weak’ after receiving a parking ticket, ranting on Twitter about ‘haters’ and inspiring women to tweet ‘jokes’ about being willing to get punched to date him, Chris Brown should still be exalted as a ‘comeback hero’ of sorts,” writes Bradley Stern in a column appearing on muumuse.com.

Shockingly enough, Brown has already been seen weaseling his way back into the same social circle, reportedly in attendance at Rihanna’s recent birthday bash. But, that’s not the problem.

More power to Rihanna if she wants to hang out with Brown again. Her relationship with her one-time boyfriend is her business, and it is a big step forward if she can forgive him. But does she really have to work with him? This is a complete exploitation of her fans’ support.

But I, a hardcore Rihanna fan for years, have no intention of abandoning her. Besides being a total fashion and music icon, Rihanna is a role model. Never afraid of what people think, she stays true to who she really is. Although sometimes her videos or performances are overtly sexual and risqué, (that’s partly what I like most about her) people look up to Rihanna.

“Like it or not, millions of people are paying attention to you, trying to be as cool as you, attempting to find love in a hopeless place and wondering if it's okay to walk down the same dark alleyway twice. Young girls look up to people like you to guide them through circumstances too complex for them to tackle on their own, and by granting Chris Brown an iota of tolerance, you implicitly encourage others to consider doing the same,” writes Jason Lipshutz of Billboard.com in “An Open Letter to Rihanna: It’s Time To Talk."

Rihanna doesn’t need a Chris Brown feature on any song. She’s too talented and her music is too good to have anything to do with an arrogant egotist with no remorse and a fandom of  “desperate, ignorant young women who think domestic violence is funny,” as Sam Lansky of XO Jane puts it.

I will still continue to be a fan and supporter of her music. But I surely won’t want a slice of any cake if Brown has anything to do with it.


Reach the columnist at jermac@asu.edu

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