Love Him or Hate Him, Chris Brown Is a Star
Photos by Jody Perry
Between The Sheets Tour feat. Chris Brown & Tyga Toyota Center March 16, 2015
Chris Brown, love him or hate him, is a star.
I once tried to argue this with a few people, but ultimately settled with facts. He's truly the last of a dying breed, a child dance prodigy whose fan base has grown with him despite every pitfall he's hit.
His headlining date at Toyota Center should have happened a month ago but in true Brown fashion, the singer was forced to reschedule in order to complete community service for an assault conviction. Him rescheduling ultimately left Trey Songz off Monday night's Houston date, which meant every woman who came to Toyota Center was his for the picking.
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That also meant his sheets were the only ones any woman of age wanted to get close to. As co-headliner of the "Between the Sheets" tour, sexuality and fun was supposed to be the story of the night. And it was because Chris Brown, who idolized Michael Jackson, still came of age when R. Kelly's libido stretched from here to Mars.
Flanked by dancers and more, Brown traced out hits from his nearly decade-long career. Behind hard guitar remixes of pop smashes like "Run It," and drum-sliding dance breaks for "Look At Me Now" and "Poppin," Brown had full command of the stage and then some. Even the lively Michael Jackson-sampling "She Ain't You" got an extended play thanks to Sevyn Streeter and some stretching of the original "Human Nature."
But Chris Brown at 25 can't help to be nasty. The stage got grinded on for "Take You Down," and he let an electric guitar double as orgasmic wails for "Wet the Bed." He asked all of the guys in attendance to make some noise if they brought their ladies to the show. They cheered, tepidly.
"Y'all bold!", he exclaimed.
Clearly, Brown could care less if you're married or established. Your girl is his for two hours every night, for as long as this Between the Sheets tour runs. Sorry.
During a flip of some Fan of a Fan tracks, one familiar "oooweee" shook everything up. It's no secret Brown has an affinity for the hood, so when Sauce Walka and Sancho Saucy hit the stage for "Legited," Toyota Center looked in amazement for a moment before joining in. Those same ad-libs from Sauce Walka got piped right back in during the confetti close of "Loyal." Even after the show, some fans found themselves joining in with Sauce Walka's now famous ad-lib, making the charismatic Sauce Factory member more beloved than Tyga.
I must admit this, when the Twinz hit the stage for "Legited," Brown showed out with dance moves and a wide, Cheshire Cat-type grin. Tyga, his co-star for the evening, was relegated to the side, watching and soaking it in. Somehow he had become the "lil lil homie," and it wasn't even his fault.
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You see, Tyga really is famous by association; like his best songs are when he plays the feature role to somebody else: Travis Scott, Kid Ink, Young Money, Young Thug, Chris Brown, etc. I mean, he looks harmless, covered in tattoos like every other nondescript rapper of the moment, but he just doesn't seem as interesting as those artists he's paired with.
We sort of respected him for a minute after he moved to Young Money, dropped a couple big singles with "Rack City" and "Faded," but God we've drove him to PR hell with the Kylie Jenner thing. At least Monday night he could feel like a star. He moved from each side of the stage, backed by a LED board that glowed at his every command.
He jumped offstage for a chance encounter to rap with fans and then some; plenty of energy, plenty of pomp. Even when he siphoned some of Breezy's crowd for his two biggest hits, "Rack City" and "Faded," the crowd still ate it up. I'd like to think it was out of pity, but that's me being just a general grouch about Tyga in 2015.
Scratch that, he and Brown stole Eminem and Dr. Dre's "Forgot About Dre" for "Get Fucked Up." Unforgivable.
Personal Bias: I don't fear losing my girl to Chris Brown. My little sister (if I had one) is different.
The Crowd: Young and female. Pretty sure some girl was introduced to sexuality via Chris Brown. That's kinda acceptable, because being introduced to your sexuality via Tyga may be punishable by watching Fox News.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Why did you let your momma come outside the house like that?"
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