Turn Up the Music
March 11th, 2012
Todd plays "Turn Up the Music" on his piano.
CHRIS BROWN - TURN UP THE MUSIC
A pop song review
Todd: I love Chris Brown. No matter what you say about him, you don't feel bad.
- Video of Chris Brown's performance at the 2012 Grammys
Todd (VO): The last month or so, I've seen some fascinating new developments in the story of the lovable boy-next-door R&B crooner who, three years ago, revealed himself to be in reality a [clip of KCAL 9 News report] horrible, woman-beating monster straight out of a bad Lifetime Channel TV movie. [Sky News clip of Brown in court] Though many predicted his career was over, Brown eventually worked his way back into the limelight mostly by simply refusing to go away, [back to performance] making his comeback official with a mega-successful 2011, culminating with his two performances at the 2012 Grammys, where he won the award for Best R&B Album.
- Chris Brown: [accepting Grammy] Team Breezy, man. It's all for you, man, all my fans back home. I love y'all, so...we got one. Thank you.
Todd (VO): Chris Brown clearly saw his Grammy as the triumphant ending of a personal redemption arc in which he finally achieved both validation from the industry and forgiveness in the eyes of the public after years of hard work. And yet, at the end of it, he found himself more [news articles entitled: "Grammy Embrace of Chris Brown Draws Criticism" and "Grammy Organizers Defend Chris Brown"...] controversial than ever and at the barrel end of more hate than he'd experienced since [..."Why Chris Brown Is Even Worse Than You Thought"] when the assault was fresh in people's minds.
Todd: Why is that? Well, I probably shouldn't speculate, but I imagine that part of it comes from how he immediately announced his victory on Twitter in, shall we say, less than gracious terms. [Reads Brown's Tweet] "HATE ALL U WANT BECUZ I GOT A GRAMMY Now! That's the ultimate F(bleep) OFF!"
Well you can see why people got mad. How dare he suggest that people should care about Grammys?
- Clip from The View
- Sherri: This is a boy, he has apologized so many times...
Todd (VO): But in a backlash to the backlash, Chris Brown has also had a number of people crawling out of the woodwork to say that he's done his time and it's been three years and [sarcastic] he's such a role model and people just need to move on.
Todd: [about to yell back, but...] Maybe they're right.
- Video for "She Ain't You"
Todd (VO): Maybe they have a point, maybe we should. And I say that regardless of whether Chris Brown deserves forgiveness or not. Believe me, I, like most sane people, feel my stomach turn when I think about what he did, and I don't wanna support domestic abuse or anything. But if I were to follow that logic...
Todd: ...how many of my own records would I have to throw out?
- Billboard.com clips of artists arriving at Grammys
Todd (VO): Because if I know anything about artists or entertainers, it's this—most of them are horrible people. Yeah, you would be shocked if you knew all the terrible things that [pictures of Chuck Berry...] this man, or [John Lennon] this man, or [Bing Crosby] this man, or [Kermit the Frog] this man have done. Believe me, you'll never listen to "Rainbow Connection" the same way again. So...
Todd: ...if you don't wanna go insane, eventually, yeah, you do have to move on, even after you find out these things. I mean, I still listen to [picture of...] Phil Spector's music, and he straight up killed a girl. All right, what I'm saying is I would be happy to put the horrible assault that Chris Brown committed out of my mind. See, here's the thing though—he won't let me.
- Video for "Strip" feat. Kevin McCall
Todd (VO): Even if I didn't follow the entertainment news and find out about every horrible thing he does or says, I'm still a music critic. I've listened to his music. And even just judging him on the thing he's supposed to be famous for, he's one of the stupidest, most repulsive people I've ever heard sing a note, whether it be on [clips of...] the ugly, misogynistic "Deuces", the repugnantly arrogant "Look at Me Now", the narcissistic plea for forgiveness "Changed Man", or just the fact that his latest album was called [cover of...] Forgiving All My Enemies.
Yes, Chris Brown has magnanimously forgiven you for all your transgressions against him.
Todd: Don't even worry about trying to make it up to him. He understands.
- Video for "Yeah 3x"'
Todd (VO): That's really what makes Chris Brown so awful—his utter refusal to really own up to what he did. I mean, he gets that he made a mistake, a slip-up,...
Todd: ...a whoopsy-daisy. But I don't think he gets the extent of it, seeing as that he's decided that [news article: "Chris Brown on Rihanna: I'm done apologizing"] he's apologized enough already, and that he's not going to embarrass himself any further. God, can you imagine the embarrassment of making more than one apology for—[pulls out printed news article about...] hold on, let me read this here—[...Chris Brown's detailed police report, quotes printed on the screen] shoving Rihanna's face into a window, then punching her in the eye, then repeatedly punching her in the face until her mouth filled with blood, threatening to beat her more when they got home, then when she called someone for help, he threatened to kill her. [pause] And then he kept punching her repeatedly in the arm she was using to protect her head, threw her phone out the window, then when she went for his phone, he put her in a headlock and choked her until she almost passed out, and also started biting her on the ear.
[Tosses page] Well, that's all in the past. He's back in the big time, baby. And despite all the controversy, [single cover of...] his latest song from his upcoming album Fortune has debuted in the Top 10. So let's look at his new single, "Turn Up the Music".
- Video for "Turn Up the Music"
- Chris Brown: Turn up the music 'cause...
Todd: Actually, let's not because I don't give a crap. This is gonna be a different episode for me because Brown's music is by far the least interesting thing about the whole ordeal. So...
Todd (VO): You wanna know what I think about this song? Really fast, here it is—it's by-the-numbers, "put your hands in the air" club music that we already have way too much of, and Chris Brown's performance is only notable because of the severe lack of personality he brings to it. As a singer, Chris Brown is a really good dancer, but...
Todd: ...other than that, he doesn't really do anything that any other R&B star could not. I mean, you give the song to [clip of "Break Your Heart" by...] Taio Cruz, what changes? Nothing.
- Clip of Michael Jackson on CNN in 1993
Todd (VO): Now Michael Jackson was accused of some pretty awful things too, but even if it turns out it was all true—was all true—we can still admit that a world without Michael would've been a drastically different one, right? [Clip of "Say Goodbye"] What would've changed if Chris Brown hadn't been around?
Todd: What is it people find so inspiring about this mediocre little turdball?
- Clip of "Forever"
Todd (VO): And I say that as someone who can safely say yeah, I like a couple Chris Brown songs. "Forever", I think that's a good song, and there are a couple others I like too. You know what?
Todd: I get there are people who really, really like him as a singer. But why do they like him as a person?
- Tweet lording over Chris Brown
Todd (VO): I have seen him defended by so many of his near-illiterate fans who keep expecting you to just forget that it happened! [Clip of "No Bullshit"] (sarcastic) "He's moved on with his life. That was, like, three years ago." [Leave Britney Alone video] "Leave Chris Brown alone! Doesn't everyone deserve a second chance?!"
Todd: No. Some people can earn a second chance. Now take a look at...
- CNN clip of...
Todd (VO): ...Michael Vick, who was arrested in 2007 for running an illegal dogfighting ring.
- Clip from 60 Minutes
- James Brown: ...he was sentenced to two years in prison and eventually declared bankruptcy.
- Clip of Vick at Eagles news conference
Todd (VO): Since then, he's spoken on behalf of the Humane Society, he speaks to middle school kids about animal welfare, he's lobbied for harsher penalties for animal fighting, and he's worked hard to keep his image clean since then. Does that make up for what he did? Is he genuinely remorseful? Does he deserve forgiveness?
Todd: [shrugging] I don't know. All I know is I can't think of anything else I could reasonably ask him to do.
- Sky News clip of Brown
Todd (VO): Chris Brown, meanwhile, got a slap on the wrist and has spent his time as a free man [news article: "Chris Brown Latest Celeb To Apologize For Using Gay Slur"] making homophobic insults, [clip from Access Hollywood] whining about people not liking him, and throwing chairs out of windows. [Clip from Good Morning America] What I'm saying is Chris Brown hasn't earned a second chance. He hasn't earned anything better than a cannonball being fired directly into his nuts. And at this point, it's not even the felony he committed, it's the fact that he's learned nothing from it.
- Chris Brown: I mean, it's not really a big deal to me now, as far as that situation. I think I'm past that in my life.
Todd: Now I don't like the idea of making a person pay for one mistake for their entire lives, but when they're so completely dedicated to being a douchebag in public, what else can you do but blast them remorselessly?
- Clip from Independent Spirit Awards
- Seth Rogen: Seriously, you say a few hateful things, they don't let you within a hundred yards of the Oscars. You could literally beat the shit out of a nominee, they ask you to perform twice at the Grammys.
Todd (VO): [a little chuckle] Now in recent weeks, quite a few celebrities have taken shots at Chris Brown. One of the most interesting was [Twitvid of...] WWE Superstar CM Punk, who made a crack about beating him up on Twitter.
Todd: Now I don't understand why Chris Brown's publicists even allow him to have a Twitter. But I can tell you this much—it's a comedy goldmine.
- Chris Brown Tweet: "I hope this album shows growth and positivity to all my fans and will inspire them to live life to the fullest!!! #FORTUNE"
Todd (VO): But normally he'll just tweet his release dates or a bunch of ["I just hope my music inspires people to come together. LOVE and POSITIVITY."] disingenuous things about growth and positivity. But... [Mechanical Dummy: "im tired of this [blur] major stores r blackballing my cd. not stockin the shelves and lying to customers. what the [blur] do i gotta do...] every once in a while, he'll post yet another stupid-ass thought and respond to haters. [Punk twitvid] And so Chris, in a display of maturity he's so thoroughly embodied in the past few years, Tweeted back at Mr. Punk: [reading another Chris Brown Tweet] "CM Punk needs more followers. Not to mention the roids hes on made it impossible for him pleasure a woman." [Brief glimpse of grammar corrections]
Todd: Yeah! Eat some of Chris Brown's positivity and growth, CM Punk! [Picture of CM Punk, clearly not on steroids] Psssh, look at that overmuscled roid freak. Burn, man! But the feud made me realize something that made Chris Brown's behavior incredibly clear to me—[picture of Hollywood Hogan] he's a wrestling villain. I don't know why I didn't realize it before. It's all there—the worthless apologies...
- Clips from RAW...
- Vince McMahon: [to CM Punk] I apologize, you son-of-a-bitch!
Todd: ...the constant temper tantrums...
- ...2005 WWE Survivor Series
- Kurt Angle: I work my ass off every single night for these damn fans!
Todd: ...the infuriatingly phony messages of positivity.
- ...and WWF Superstars of Wrestling from late 1980s
- Brother Love: I loooovvvveee yoooouuuu.
Todd: Seriously, he's two seconds away from insulting the town he's performing in.
- Fan footage at WWE Elimination Chamber
Todd (VO): He's the greatest heel the WWE has ever seen. I certainly haven't had this much fun hating someone since back when I watched wrestling.
Todd: And apparently I'm not the only one.
- Clip from Halftime Report showing a CB Tweet: "No more planking for me unless it's on a sexy lady! Lol!"
- Andy Levy: So I saw this Tweet and I re-Tweeted adding: "You spelling 'punching' wrong."
Todd (VO): I've discovered there are people who use Twitter basically just to come up with hilarious comebacks to Chris Brown's every stupid thought, and it has produced some of the finest 140-character comedy I've ever seen. Like when Chris Brown indignantly Tweeted, [shows article on criticism over Tweet] "I'm so over everyone's opinions." This one guy responded, [shows Tweet] "yeah, you're sick of opinions like, 'no, Chris, stop! It hurts'" [Laugh track]
Todd: And when he Tweeted, "just took a photograph with a lady fan, and boy, her man was super mad!" some guy responded, [shows Tweet] "he loves her & was afraid for her safety." [Laugh track] It's like the best caption contest that ever existed, and I started following Chris Brown too solely so I could join in. Like here where he said, [Tweet] "HAPPY VALENTINES DAY ladies... Let today be about u!!!" And I wrote this witty comeback in response: [Todd's Tweet] "@chrisbrown iz a worthless piece of dogshit!!!"
Obviously, I need to work on mine a little. Fortunately, there are other people out there to do it for me; but unfortunately, every time I try and look for these hilarious responses, I can't find them. Because if you do [shows search of Tweets] a search of "chrisbrown", you get a flood of Chris Brown's delusional supporters telling you what a great person he is and what a positive role model he is. Chris Brown! The guy... [punches hand and grabs head] that...
- Clip from Zoolander
- Jacobim Mugatu: Doesn't anyone notice this?! I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!
Todd (VO): I didn't know this, but apparently Twitter is an even more wretched hive of scum and idiocy than YouTube comments.
Todd: I mean, I knew Chris Brown is a bad, bad man, but his fans? They're the worst. The very worst.
- Image of Chris Brown with "I'll do whatever he wants me to" above it
Todd (VO): They don't just forgive him for beating up a tiny 19-year-old girl, they'll actively deny that he did anything wrong.
Todd: A bunch of my viewers sent me a picture [shows picture] with all the Tweets of women saying they would let Chris Brown punch them in the face. [Clip from The View] Okay, I think a number of them were joking. And even if they weren't, at least they acknowledge that Chris Brown did in fact once punch a woman in the face. Believe me, people, that's not the worst thing I've seen from "Team Breezy." There's worse.
- YouTube videos
- Girl: I'm just saying, like, she didn't deserve to get beat up to the degree that she got beat up...
- Guy: I don't believe that Chris Brown just attacked Rihanna for nothin'. I believe she provoked him.
- Scrolling list of Tweets and comments relating to Chris Brown
Todd (VO): I have seen so many awful excuses that blame Rihanna for being hit in the face. I...I've heard people say that she hit him first, that she gave him an STD, that she endangered their lives by making him swerve into traffic, that she started taking chunks out of him with a shoe.
Todd: None of which there's any actual evidence for. Not from Rihanna or Chris Brown or the police report or anything. [holds it up] And speaking of the police report, do I have to read you this thing again? [Snippets of report] He bit her in the ear and choked her! Could I believe that whatever Rihanna did in the car to start the fight could justify what Chris Brown did? Yeah...if she was attacking him with a chainsaw, or maybe if she'd been possessed by Satan [clip from The Exorcist] and Brown's fists were the only thing that could drive him out. Other than that, probably not.
[Clip of "Birthday Cake"] Oh, and here's another thing I here: "Rihanna forgave him, so let it go already." Okay, about that.
- Article: "Today's Chris Brown outrage: He's appearing on Rihanna's next single."
Todd (VO): Yes, Chris Brown has shown up on some of Rihanna's newest remixes and she's shown up on the remix for "Turn Up the Music"; and yes, it's hard to see that as anything but a public act of forgiveness. I'm not really comfortable criticizing the choices of an abuse victim, but...yeah, I do think that collaborating with him publicly sends the wrong message and...
Todd: I wish Rihanna would follow the example of another person who found herself in that situation.
- Interview with Rihanna three years ago
- Rihanna: These are young girls...I couldn't be held responsible for telling them go back. Chris...even if Chris never hit me again, who's to say that their boyfriend won't?
Todd: But that's not my business. If Rihanna forgave him, fine. But that doesn't have a thing to do with if I forgive him. Hell, he didn't do anything to me, no one's asking me to forgive him, they're asking me to like him. Uh... [picture of Brown stamped with...] no. Denied.
- Video for "Next 2 You" with Justin Bieber
Todd (VO): If Chris Brown was just some famous scumbag, that'd be one thing, but I was doing all this research online and I just kept reading all these sickening posts trying to make excuses for what he did.
- Girl on video: That heifer is lying, okay? She's a liar.
Todd (VO): There was just so many of them and they're everywhere and I just...agh, I just couldn't take it anymore. I got so sick of it that I did something I promised myself I would never do.
Todd: I started a Tumblr.
- Shows the page
Todd (VO): It is at trollingchrisbrown.tumblr.com, where I collect all the hilarious responses to Chris Brown's stupidity that I can find. I'm gonna keep running it until the act of running a hate blog becomes too exhausting and sad, but for Chris Brown, I don't think that's gonna end anytime soon.
Todd: Like originally it was gonna be up just for the sake of comedy, but after reading all these stupid, stupid people, just...this stopped being about the lulls.
- Video for "Turn Up the Music"
Todd (VO): It's about the fact that instead of trying to earn forgiveness, Chris Brown and the dumber members of Team Breezy got indignant that you won't let go of the fact that he put a woman in a hospital!
Todd: Well, screw that!
Todd (VO): I encourage everybody. Go ahead and troll Chris Brown yourselves, and if you see a funny one somewhere, please go ahead and submit it to the site. Send me your pictures, links, whatever, and if it's funny, we'll put it up. Yeah, it's just a small drop in the bucket, but the whole Chris Brown phenomenon is such a depressing mess. We gotta get some enjoyment out of this somehow.
Todd: Like, if people wanna buy Chris Brown's music, fine, it's just music. But quite frankly, [Tweet from @ChrisBrownOnTop: Being teambreezy isn't about followers or how many times you've seen him live. It's about loving @Chrisbrown & being there till the end.] the idea of Chris Brown only getting attention from his fans makes me wanna puke. [Bleep] Chris Brown, [bleep] that [bleep]-ing [bleep]-face right in his [long bleep] piece of [bleep] wad mother[bleep].
Closing tag song: Rihanna - "Take a Bow"
"Turn Up the Music" is owned by RCA
This video is owned by me