Chris Brown – Run It!

First Hit #1: November 26, 2005

Let’s ignore, for a moment, whether or not Chris Brown is a terrible person. The important issue here is Brown’s music, and Run It is his first big hit. While Brown sounds surprisingly prepubescent on the track – which always sounds really strange when you’ve got a song that’s overtly about sex – the problem is much simpler. Brown is, at the end of the day, just a bad facsimile of Usher. He can dance, he can sing, but he’s not as interesting, significantly less self-aware, and prone to just doing what Usher has already done, just worse. Run it does not need to exist in a world where Yeah is freely available. It’s not so much bad as it is lacking in personality, taking what already exists and barely even putting his own spin on it. It feels lower budget and less interesting, less inspired artist than inspired by artist, which always leads to less rewarding music. I’m not sure why the music industry has insisted on making Chris Brown a thing, but he’s just not that compelling.

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One Response to Chris Brown – Run It!

  1. RBerman says:

    Hey, I wasn’t expecting that interpolation of the New Wave single “I Know What Boys Like” by early 80s one hit wonders The Waitresses. That song was released before Juelz Santana was born. Pop music thrives on me-tooism. It’s partly artists being influenced by other artists, but mostly record companies finding artists who sound similar to existing ones. For every Alanis Morissette there’s a Meredith Brooks or four, toiling in obscurity. Thus too with Usher and various R&B guys from Ne-Yo to Chris Brown.

    The lyrics are basically an overtly sexualized version of “I Saw Her Standing There,” with 16 year old Brown propositioning an (older?) woman on the dance floor. Sadly, “Run It!” writer/producer Scott Storch falls into another trend: from obscurity to success and riches to drugs to financial, professional, and legal ruin.

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