It’s already been another controversy-filled week for rapper Chris Brown, and it’s only going to continue with news that has indeed “shocked the world.” In a bizarre twist of events, Miss Info has reported that Rihanna will be releasing a remix of her single “Birthday Cake” featuring ex-boyfriend Brown, who in 2009 was charged for physically assaulting her. While Brown hasn’t yet completely lived out the full sentence for the crime (he’s still on probation), he’s still managed to cause quite a stir by taking to the Grammys stage twice this past weekend, so we can only imagine what kind of furore the announcement that he’s collaborating with RiRi will cause.
Rihanna seems to be largely “over” the violent incident, publicly at least, having spent her birthday in the company of Brown, and Tweeting not-so-subtly in defense of her decision to work with him, or indeed “do” him.
This will be a compelling augment for Brown’s contingent of enthusiastic fans — that Rihanna has “moved on” and “forgiven” and that we should too, following her example. There’s also an argument that Rihanna’s forgiveness is irresponsible, as in many ways she’s failed to engage in any conversation with her fans about the brutal attack, making the “forgiveness” part confusing for many young women who might have dealt with similar abuse. However, Rihanna is under no obligation as a victim to address what happened if she doesn’t want to — although it might be different for us as a community, who could be sending a dangerous message to abused young women if we simply accept this turn of events as “OK”. Although Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz point about Rihanna’s visibility, and the relative power she has to shape ideas and opinions, is a rather strong one:
“”With great power comes great responsibility” is a schmaltzy sentiment, but it’s fitting here — like it or not, you have a different level of power than most of us schmoes because of your pop superstardom, and a different level of responsibility in your personal life than in your music because of the tabloid-infected culture we live in. It’s a burden that is not fair to you, or anyone in pop culture, but it’s one you have to accept.”
No doubt that the “Birthday Cake” remix will be a hot topic of discussion over the coming weeks, but what do you think? If Rihanna and Brown have reconciled, should we also let it go? Or do we have a greater social responsibility to victims of domestic abuse? Let us know in our poll below.
[Photos: Getty Images]