Chris Brown Tries on Transformation, Should Probably Keep Trying

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After a much watched over domestic abuse scandal involving his ex, Rihanna, Chris Brown has spent the last nine months trying to wiggle his way back into the public’s favor. Transformation being the name of the game, but public apologies, viral videos, and community service hours have come and gone with little avail. And even as his songs have risen on the charts, his public image has remained tarnished.

There is room for hope, however, that a successful showing on his upcoming Graffiti — which he recently tweeted will be available come December 15th — could perhaps offer a better 2010 for Brown. This morning’s release of the album’s first video could be telling.

At first, Brown seemed smart, padding his return with music video extraordinaire Joseph Kahn and hip hop behemoth Lil Wayne. Early listens to “I Can Transform Ya” hit the internet this summer sounding solid: whistle blows and rhymes with intonation borrowed from playground rhyme were fun, and that Swizz Beatz beat was ready-made for Brown’s famous pop and locking.

But when pictures of the boys working on the video shoot began circulating last month, we had to wonder: is Wayne-with-guitar and Brown-with-nun chucks really the right recipe for a comeback?

Today, the video is out, and while Wayne’s guitar is just a prop, Brown’s past offenses make it difficult to play off his ninja-spirit as a new found act. The video is cool, the car’s expensive and the dancing sharp, but maybe next time, Brown could transform himself into something a little less derivative?