Photo Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic, DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES
Chris Brown has made amends with Rihanna following his 2009 assault on the pop star, and now he's trying to rehab his image with the rest of the world. The couple has been very much on-again over the past six months and Brown, 23, is finally talking about the violent incident that has defined him since he was 19.
"Being at that young age, I can tell you I was arrogant and definitely hotheaded," Brown said on Ryan Seacrest's radio show. "Everybody has a temper, but for me, it was not knowing how to control it when I thought I had the world in my hands."
In terms of winning back his 25-year-old girlfriend, Brown says he "tried my best to be the best man I could be over the years and show her how remorseful and sorry I was for the incident." That's impressive, considering she had leveled a restraining order against him, but it seems like his efforts worked. Rihanna frequently stands up for him in the press and has admitted that "even if it's a mistake [dating Brown again], it's my mistake."
Brown says he is "eternally grateful and thankful" that Rihanna has given him a second chance. "It's still like we're kids. I try not to be too grown and be like 'Let's have candlelight dinner every night,'" he adds. "I try to make sure everything is fun. It has to be fun, and it has to be genuine."
His romance with Rihanna might be the real thing, but is his public remorse? It's all well and good that he's coming out with these sentiments now, but we can't help but feel that this is all one big publicity stunt. Brown has a new album, X, coming out in late summer, and the first track from the record, "Fine China," debuts on April 1. Rather than stemming from Brown's own need to come clean, his public confession seems like it could be part of his PR team's plan to win back fans who now only view him as a girlfriend beater.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Brown admits that he needs to fight his own bad reputation in order to sell records. "There was so much ... that was going on in my life. Fights and other stuff going on in the media. I got to the point where I didn't even want to leave the studio," he says, adding of his new, more honest persona, "I think it's about me having a clear head -- me actually being humble about it. People are just going to have to like me for it. Or don't. I don't really focus on the negative anymore."
Regardless of his personal drama, Brown is a talented musician -- but right now, we're not sure that's enough to make us buy his music. He might deserve our forgiveness someday, but only after his actions -- not words -- prove that he has become a better person. At least he knows that he's on thin ice, both personally and professionally.
"You can lose it all," Brown told Seacrest. "And I'm not just saying fame or stardom, because that's not what it's about. I'm talking about dignity, integrity. You know, you lose yourself in a way."