Chris Brown’s highly anticipated album Royalty is clearly a parallel to his life thus far.
Released today [December 18] Royalty showcases Brown’s transformation from bad boy to a man who embraces his flaws and makes clear his desires.
With lyrics ranging from overtly sexual to intimately heartfelt, Chris is very transparent in his feelings about his encounters with love both fleeting and heartbreaking. “KAE” seems to be a very obvious reflection of his tumultuous relationship with Karrueche Tran, with him expressing both sadness and anger over the state of their relationship. “Blow in the Wind” highlights his shift in focus from love and relationships to work, deciding to be nonchalant when it comes to women and haters.
As always, Chris makes sure to pay homage to the R&B greats that inspired him throughout his career. Especially with the sexually explicit ballad “Who’s Gonna (Nobody)”, a reference and play on Keith Sweat’s classic “Nobody.” Another track, “Picture Me Rollin’”, is a clear nod to 2Pac’s record of the same name, offering the classic West Coast sound ‘Pac was known for.
Other tracks such as “Back to Sleep,” “Make Love,” and “Liquor” reiterate Chris’ sexual hunger, highlighting his strong vocals and range that goes the distance.
Musically, the album embodies EDM, trap soul, pop, 90s bass and classic R&B. These are all genres from which we’ve heard Chris style his music after before, but you can tell with this record his production team was intent in creating music that not only would be accepted commercially, but drove the emotion of the album forward. “Anyway,” “Proof,” and “Fine By Me” are reminiscent sounds we’ve heard from Chris before (think “Forever,” “New Flame,” “Yeah X 3”).
With the album titled Royalty after his daughter (who up until a few months old was a secret) not much of it is dedicated to talking about that experience aside from highlight track “Little More (Royalty).” The music video he released for the track today may be all we need—and all we’re going to get on the personal matter.
Royalty is sure to be a hit with Team Breezy. Chris continues to reign as a maker of music that challenges musical convention and speaks his personal truth.