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Dec. 19, 2005

Young'n can "Run It"

by Abe Schwadron, Online Managing Editor
Comparisons can often be tough to live up to, especially when a young artist is being compared to the king of a genre. Sixteen-year-old Chris Brown has been deemed the next Usher, sometimes to the awe and surprise of fans. But if Usher is indeed the Michael Jordan of R&B, then Chris Brown is most definitely the LeBron James.

Brown, the young soulster from Virginia who burst on the scene with his club hit "Run It," featuring Juelz Santana, proclaims his presence with his self-titled debut album. Despite his age, Brown displays maturity and versatility on his first album, which contains 15 tracks of respectable material.
Sixteen-year-old R&B sensation Chris Brown graces the cover of his self-titled debut album.
Sixteen-year-old R&B sensation Chris Brown graces the cover of his self-titled debut album.

In large part, Brown's maturity makes up for his age, as his lyrics are universal and applicable to even the oldest of audiences. The rookie's smooth voice booms through the speakers with the confidence of a seasoned veteran.

"Run It" starts off the album with a bang, introducing the listener to Brown's smooth vocals and enthusiasm. The song, produced by super-producer Scott Storch, who has made beats for artists like Tupac, Beyoncé and Dr. Dre, also features a deep bass and head-bobbing drum programming perfect for partying. Santana provides a heavy hip-hop feel that contrasts with Brown's boyish voice to make "Run It" both a crossover hit and the best track on the album.

Brown slows down for "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" and "Young Love," on which he describes talking to a girl for the first time and his frustrations for not being taken seriously due to his age. "Since we ain't twenty-one, they be trying to say it ain't love/ 'Cuz we can't hit the clubs, they be trying to say we too young," croons Brown on "Young Love." The tracks exemplify Brown's ability to both carry a verse and create a catchy, memorable hook.

The sixteen-year-old sweet-talker hooks back up with Storch for "Gimme That," turning up the heat by trying to entice an older girl with edgy vocals. The body-thumping track is spliced with orchestral harmony and is sure to make any listener bust a move.

Brown's best slow jam is "Ya Man Ain't Me," a song dedicated to a girl who should be his. He even makes an almost laughable reference to the girl's current boyfriend, who is apparently too lazy to get his driver's license, singing "He ain't fly/ He don't even drive/ 'Cuz when you wanna sneak out in the middle of the night/ Baby, I'm your guy."

Throughout the album, Brown is the beneficiary of top-notch production. The intricate and hooky beats that accompany his vocals on tracks like "Ain't No Way (You Won't Love Me)" and "Winner" aid listeners in adapting easily to his vocals.

"Poppin'" exemplifies Brown's versatility, as he lays his easy voice slowly across a beat that sounds like it's been "screwed and chopped." His ability to mold his sound to varying styles will prove to be an important virtue for Brown in the future.

Despite his common comparison to Usher, a few of Brown's songs sound disappointingly like those of other artists. "Say Goodbye" is eerily similar to Jagged Edge's "Goodbye" and the bass line for "Just Fine" sounds like a rough cut of "Leave (Get Out)" by pop-princess Jojo.

Brown teams up with Jermaine Dupri and Bow Wow for the "Run It" Remix, which has easily the nicest beat on the album. The hair-raising techno-like blips and unorthodox drum programming combined with a sample from Rev Run of RUN-D.M.C. make the remix a fresh yet equally pleasing version of the club banger. Unfortunately, Bow Wow's performance is annoying; he ruins the song with his superficial rhymes and fledgling attempts at thug appeal. A veteran rapper like Big Boi or Fat Joe would have better complemented the track's hot beat.

But still, Brown's concise yet solid mix of slow jams and dance grooves is stellar for a debut album, and his vocals are both impressive and astounding for an artist who can't even get into an R-rated movie. Although Brown's puppy-love tracks may be targeted at adolescent females, the quality and maturity displayed throughout the album make it enjoyable for listeners of all ages and sexes.

It's official, R&B fans; Chris Brown has arrived, and he is here to stay. So look out Usher, there's a new kid on the block.



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  • calah on December 19, 2005 at 2:31 PM
    chris you are my star and my love.
  • CHICO on December 20, 2005 at 8:07 AM
    CHRIS BROWN IS GOING DOWN
  • Jessica (View Email) on December 20, 2005 at 11:38 AM
    I think that he is a great singer and very hott he reminds me so much of usher who was my favorite singer until he stopped making songs for a while now chris brown is my favorite
  • Shay stodghill on December 20, 2005 at 2:17 PM
    Chris Brown I love you You look better than bow wow. And you have expired me to be all i can be
  • Nadia (View Email) on December 21, 2005 at 12:36 PM
    chris you got it going on. i love your song "run it" intill i heard the song "yo" i wacth it every day.
  • tantrum (View Email) on December 28, 2005 at 12:31 PM
    chris brown i fink dat ur single is smashin i also fink dat the album is very mature.
  • erika (View Email) on January 2, 2006 at 1:47 PM
    chris I am your #1 fan and hope to meet you one day.I loved the 2 songsyo and run it until I got the album and heard the song goodbye and I went through something similar to that. By the way you looked good on my hit list month which didnt surprise me because you always look good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are so sexy!!!!!!!!!!!
  • genise on January 12, 2006 at 12:31 PM
    chris i just want to me u i got a poster of you on my wall and i am never going to take it of... i like u your my star.
  • Sharkina Charles (View Email) on January 15, 2006 at 6:42 PM
    hey chris i love your cd and i want u to know dat i support u a 100% in everything that u do and gods guidance and protection and god bless bye
  • Bianca (View Email) on January 19, 2006 at 4:41 PM
    Chris, da way you sing got ma heart beatin' so fast dat I can't catch ma breath. Your Cd is fantastic. You is so FIIIINNNNEEEEE!!!!
  • Lena (View Email) on January 29, 2006 at 5:36 PM
    The one and only Chris Brown just bounced in to tha game and already got females across tha nation screamin his name. I got mad props for ya and what u doin, keep ya head up and just "run it"!
  • Genise[the best] (View Email) on February 15, 2006 at 2:03 PM
    Chris Brown u are da best. U will run it to me soon. I have got your song [run it] on my phone, and I will never delete it.I had to do a second piece of writting. Chris Brown your my star and u will allways be xxx most people at my secondary school likes u and bow wow.xxx
  • Jacinda (View Email) on March 13, 2006 at 7:39 PM
    i love every song you made, and i especially love YOUNG LOVE. boy u sooo fine i wish i could meet u one day and be ur wife but then i never met u so yah its only a crush. im happy u became a singer, and i want to be a singer one day but im very shy so that probably wouldn't happen but im starting to talk more. I LUV U CHRIS BROWN!!!!!!!!!!!
  • maleka (View Email) on April 3, 2006 at 7:17 PM
    chris you are making my blood pump high you are so cute.
  • mizzpissygurl on April 10, 2006 at 10:26 PM
    Yo wut da buizness iz. My name iz princess
    and I truly believe that I am your number 1
    fan reguardless to wut any other fe-male says
    or does for u, ya herd. Yeah I'm 14, I'm african american and I love you,only as a
    favorite celebrity.I love all your songz and
    for my opinion you are way bettr than any Usher or Bow Wow cuz 2 me Bow Wow's still lil'Bow Wow, ya mean!?!. N-e-who I luv 2 sing and I'm
    making a cd right now so watch uot I might be yor new PRINCESS ya herd oh yeah you was hecka goofy on yo Spring Break hot video list
    um... yeah well I'm out peice...Luv Ya!!!
  • natalie (View Email) on April 16, 2006 at 4:42 PM
    chris is soooooooooooooooooooo sexii. Iluv u chris
  • cle-cle (View Email) on April 20, 2006 at 6:10 PM
    ilove to sing and i am your number one fan ''all the other girls are not get it right''
  • trisana (View Email) on April 25, 2006 at 10:25 PM
    i chris, i love your song they are the bom. my favourite one is 'gimme that and is this love'. i want you to know i am fully suporting your songs. i love you very much. may god bless you and keep you. keep your head high up men. don't let any one put you down
  • trisana (View Email) on April 25, 2006 at 10:28 PM
    i chris, i love your song they are the bom. my favourite one is 'gimme that and is this love'. i want you to know i am fully suporting your songs. i love you very much. may god bless you and keep you. keep your head high up men. don't let any one put you down.
  • Amber (View Email) on April 26, 2006 at 10:28 AM
    i love chris brown so much he is so damn fine and he CD is crunk as i don't kno what
  • destiny ranee (View Email) on April 27, 2006 at 12:06 PM
    chris brown is bomb
  • april lynn (View Email) on April 29, 2006 at 1:49 PM
    chris brown is mine i don"t care about you other peeps say . my wallz are coverd in chris brown
  • simone on May 2, 2006 at 12:20 PM
    I luv Chris Brown!!Datz my baby!I really want to meet him i have my whole rm covered in him i got his cd 2!!!!datz my hubby!!!
  • tia on May 2, 2006 at 7:54 PM
    I would like to say happy birthday to chris who has a b-day coming up on friday may 5th
  • NADIRAH (View Email) on May 6, 2006 at 12:38 PM
    I WOULD LIKE TO SNED A HAPPY BIRTHDAY OR BELATED BIRTHDAY TO MY BOO CHRISBROWN AND I HOPE YOUR BIRTHDAY IS THE BOMB WISH I WAS THERE WELL HAPPY 17TH BIRTHDAY TO CHRISBROWN
  • anais (View Email) on May 6, 2006 at 11:15 PM
    baby your fine jessica&anais
  • natasha farlough (View Email) on May 9, 2006 at 10:57 AM
    Well i hope you always bo mine and keep doing what you do.
  • symone (View Email) on May 12, 2006 at 11:01 PM
    I luv chris brown
  • odalis norales (View Email) on May 15, 2006 at 1:42 PM
    i love u chris brown,one day me and u r going to get married,my propsel is still on.Remember i will always love u.Ain't no way im gonna let u down,im gonna make say u want me.So we can get it Poppin,so when we meet we will run it, and we will never have to say goodbye.I LOVE U CHRISBROWN.
  • lexus on May 16, 2006 at 6:17 PM
    chris you are the cutest 16 year old boy.you are the hotest.i am yourbiggest fan. lov ya
  • alicia smith on May 17, 2006 at 8:22 AM
    Chris brown woo i can't tell you how much i love you and love is a big word and the bigness of it tells how much i love you, and i love you,your music,your body,and everything that has something to do with you from my heart to your heart i love you

    P.s my favorite song is poppin because that beat be actually poppin
    Love alicia smith
    I LOVE YOU
  • demetress on May 17, 2006 at 8:23 AM
    hi i am one of your biggest fans i like your music
  • DaeDae a.k.a Lil Mama (View Email) on May 17, 2006 at 8:09 PM
    Hey chris brown i love you. you is my baby you just remind me of my old man. But i love that song goodbye cause that song make you think about some folks you really love
  • joy (View Email) on May 19, 2006 at 2:38 PM
    Omg i love chris brown cuz he iz sooooooooo fine and sexin and i have ova 20 pics of him i really love him he is so fine and hot and he can really move and he has the most amazin voice i love him i want 2 marry him my favorite song iz young love cuz i feel him on dat one and poppin and thank you. I have chris brown writtenon my jeans i even played ur cd on yo b-day may 5th i love you baby boy
  • courtney (View Email) on May 25, 2006 at 9:56 AM
    chris u r a great singer i wish to see u someday me and my cousin she really lovs u very much she has u all around her room please just send us some tickets or something just 4 my cousin so she could meet u and leave me alone about u
  • shyasia Wright (View Email) on January 11, 2007 at 12:56 PM
    i really disagree chris brown is the bom and he aint got to copy off nobody
  • Nomie (View Email) on January 16, 2007 at 6:14 AM
    Miss Nomie: I'm a South African girl and I know for a fact you are far better than Usher or anybody they try to compare you to, you can really sing, dance, you are seriosly good looking and have a style that is your own,can't wait to see Stomp The Yard and YOUR new album, Ireally love your music hope some day you will come to our country yOU have a huge following from youn to old.
  • kiki (View Email) on January 16, 2007 at 1:27 PM
    oooooooooooooooooo chrisbrown u so fine man i want u to be mine boi i luvs u u is so much man i got yo pictures all ova mi room i want see u fo real cause man u probably make me faint boi i luv an keep doin wat u do best an stay on tv wit yo sexy self luvs ya lot bye
  • natalya (View Email) on January 28, 2007 at 7:06 PM
    you so fine i luv u hubby
  • Ashley (View Email) on February 1, 2007 at 2:35 PM
    Chris this yo girl Ashley leting you know that you fine
  • limayri Roman (View Email) on February 9, 2007 at 4:28 PM
    hey looking good [censored] do you want to go out with me
  • Gloria (View Email) on February 20, 2007 at 9:54 PM
    hi chris my name is gloria i like ur music i had wen't to movies to see stomp the yard i think u are so cute in the movie u are still cute know i have a few of ur posters on my wall i think u ar fine as hell
  • LESLIEANN (View Email) on May 2, 2007 at 10:10 AM
    HIS SO TALENTED I LOVE THE WAY HE SINGS HIS SO INSPERRATIONAL TO ME HIS GOT A GREAT TALENT AND HIS LIFE IS SO GREAT BY JUST BEING YOUR SELF SO CHRIS DONT CHANGE OF HEART BE YOUR SELF LOVE YOUR#1 FAN LESLIEANN CANALES
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