In the middle of August, Chris Brown engaged in an interview with Billboard Magazine at Hollywood’s hot Chalice Recording Studios, a vintage-gear-stuffed space favored by young artists, where he was putting the final touches on his overly delayed sixth studio album X , which is now scheduled to be released officially on September 15, 2014 via RCA Records.
In his interview with Gail Mitchell for the publication, Chris spoke on things that many fans have expected him to speak on for quite some time such as the lessons he’s learned from his troubles, how he plans to stay out of trouble, his thoughts on Rihanna, being a role model and much more. Take a look at a few of excerpts from the interview below.
On the last few months of his life:
“I realize that what I do for a living opens my life to public scrutiny and that I have a responsibility to everyone because of that exposure. I can say that I am only human and I have made mistakes. I can say that I try to live my life in the most true, honest way that I can. I am not perfect, no one is. No one is harder on me than me. No one can please everyone. No one can live in the past and expect to grow. I have been moving forward and hope that I am not defined by just a few moments in my life but all of the moments that will make up my life.”
On his time in jail:
“You know, jail isn’t a place of many creative spirits. But as far as my creativity, I put it on hold until I got out. Jail is more of a regimen and a structure. I’m more of a free spirit when it comes to creating music, painting and art. So when I got out, I was very excited to get into the studio. I didn’t have any ideas or concepts; they usually come as I go [in to record]. I was drawing and sketching most of the time, biding time.”
On lessons learned from the experience?
“My maturity level has risen as far as my realizing what’s important. Realizing that I’m human like everyone else. At the end of the day, it’s just a humbling experience. You’re more appreciative of everything else that’s on the outside. A burger tastes 1,000 times better when you’re out (Laughs.) I’m just more appreciative of the things I’m blessed with and the things I do: music, being able to take care of my family, being able to see my friends and family. And do what I love and still be able to do it in a timely fashion to where people don’t think, “Oh well, he fell off.” Still being able to be consistent.”
On when his relationship with Rihanna will stop being brought up:
“When we’re not relevant anymore, that might be the case. As long as you’re doing something good, people will always bring up old stuff or negative stuff because they don’t want you to surpass a certain level or elevate. But as long as you have your head on straight, it shouldn’t matter what people want to say.”
On his definition of redemption:
“Being able to learn from mistakes and inspiring people to learn from yours. Redemption is being able to be completely humble and love yourself. Know that you’re human and understand that life has its ups and downs, but God always balances it out.”
On what he would do if he couldn’t dance or sing:
“I would be somewhere in the industry, but not necessarily around music. It would be more like fashion design, or I’d probably be a painter or street artist. I’m eclectic, with different styles of creativity. But painting is one of my biggest passions. I just started getting back into it since I’ve been so focused on music. It’s not like, ‘OK, I’ve got to do an art show so people buy my paintings.'”
Watch: Chris Brown for Billboard Behind-the-Scenes