We are on the eve of the BET Awards this weekend, the annual showcase of Black music. One of the main performers at the Awards is Chris Brown, who has had his own problems this week. How would you advise him?
Chris Brown is an incredible performer. Had it not been for the Rihanna incident and Michael Jackson’s passing, there would have been a clear lane for him. However, his off-the mic, off-the-stage, out-of-the-studio behavior has been problematic for years and I believe it detracts from his brand and his higher level success. If I were advising him, I’d say be on your P’sand Q’s. Be ultra-mindful. Part of his problem is his youth. I have found in my business that when a person comes into great wealth and notoriety, managing the currents of fame become quite challenging. He needs to be ultra-careful. He’s got to know that he’s being watched. If I were him, the only time you would see or hear me is when I’m on a stage.
Another individual who I know you’ve had experience with is Allen Iverson. He’s been accused of abducting his kids, who he does not have custody of. (It appears that that is not the case, though) But at 38, now that his basketball career is over, can he still reform his reputation?
If I were working with him and his team, I’d craft a statement acknowledging his love for his children and their mother and to note that they are clearly having differences, as is the case when people break up. I would appeal to people in similar scenarios and say ‘Pray for my family’ as we work on our conflicts. Just because it’s in the media, just because it’s being reported, doesn’t mean that its accurate. We don’t know all the details.
This is the end of Black Music Month. There are those who believe we no longer need HBCU’s, no longer need Black History Month, or Black Music Month. Why do you think Black Music Month is important?
As far as Black music, it is indigenous. It’s American music and all Americans should be celebrating something that’s been created by Black folks bought here from Africa. It’s something to be proud of. In addition to being an incredibly inspiring art form, it is also a huge business to the tune of multi-billions of dollars and that’s something worth celebrating, in my book.