A new-old Rihanna and Chris Brown song surfaced online over the weekend. It’s called “Put It Up” and was meant to be featured on Brown’s last album X. The track never made it onto the LP, though. (It’s rumored Rihanna requested it be cut after she and Brown last broke up.) But since nothing is ever really “unreleased” these days, the track has hit the web.
Unlike the duo’s previous post-2009 tracks, “Put It Up” is a slow-jam declaration of adoration. The raunch of their “Birthday Cake” remix has been traded for lyrics like “treat me like I’m your property” sung over a light-hearted bedroom beat. Considering everything that happened in the past, it’s all a bit unnerving—even if both parties have made amends. (See: Rihanna and Brown’s 2013 uncomfortably enjoyable “Nobody’s Business.”)
We don’t particularly like writing about Chris Brown, because while rehabilitation for perpetrators of domestic violence is possible, Brown’s subsequent media appearances and conversation on what happened have continued to be problematic and aggressive. He talks a lot of talk, but hasn’t walked the walk. So, when tracks like this surface—whether they’re meant to or not—the question that almost always arises is, “How?" followed by the more difficult, "Why?" We don’t have that answer, and perhaps it really is none of our business, but our hearts sink each time we hear Rihanna sing to Brown “I'mma give you all of my love and I hope that you won't misplace it.”
Anyone—no matter race, gender, sexuality, or class—can be a victim of domestic violence. If you or someone you know is a survivor of domestic abuse or currently in an abusive situation, resources like RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) are available 24/7.