Beloved singer Ciara, known for her hits and soulful production, found herself at the center of a media storm after the recent announcement of a collaboration with Chris Brown. The duo released a new song today, “How We Roll,” 14 years after their last collaboration, “Turntables,” featured on Ciara’s Fantasy Ride album.
However, the excitement surrounding the new film was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding Chris Brown. The 34-year-old singer has had a difficult history, especially with her 2009 arrest and conviction for assaulting her then-girlfriend, Rihanna. He also faced allegations of harassment and abuse by model Karrueche Tran, as well as several other allegations that surfaced as recently as 2022.
Fans and critics alike expressed concern and disappointment at Ciara’s decision to collaborate with Chris Brown, given her history of violence against women. Many argue that this partnership sends the wrong message, especially given the ongoing efforts to raise awareness and support survivors of domestic violence.
Despite her protests, Ciara continued to release music videos for “How We Roll”, showcasing her unique dance-heavy style appreciated by her core fans. The video received mixed reactions, with some praising the artistic expression and others criticizing the duo.
Ciara and Chris Brown’s collaboration is reminiscent of their memorable performance at the 2008 BET Awards, when they shared the stage for Brown’s smash jam “Take You Down.” From then on, they remained distant collaborators until the surprise release of “How We Roll”.
The entertainment industry is grappling with the issue of liability and immunity for performers involved in controversial events. Ciara’s decision to work with Chris Brown sparks a discussion about the importance of considering an artist’s past work and whether it should affect future opportunities.
With the world anticipating a new album, it remains to be seen how the two artists will deal with the criticism and ongoing debate surrounding their collaboration. Today, “How We Roll” stands as a polarizing release sparking a conversation about art, responsibility, and the power of platforms in the music industry.