The first time Chris Brown and David Banner hooked up on a hit track, 2008’s “Get Like Me” off Banner’s The Greatest Story Ever Told, Breezy was but a mere 18 years old. With years passed and trials and tribulations faced, both personally and professionally, the R&B superstar’s friend and frequent collaborator had one thing to say when it came to discussing what to expect on Brown’s new album Fortune: “All I gotta say is, Chris Brown has grown up!”
With age usually comes wisdom, and with Brown honing in on his craft ever so meticulously over the last couple of years, Banner told Neon Limelight that this time around, he was able to pick up a few things from the “Look At Me Now” crooner. “Chris is one of the few first artists that I think I probably learned more from him this time than he probably learned from me. Like, he really understands him, his career, where he wants to go, and how he wants his voice to sound,” Banner shared. When it came to working on the new music for the R&B superstar’s follow-up to his No. 1 album, F.A.M.E., Brown transformed into a man who knows what he wants musically, and knows just how to create it.
“He may not even speak to nobody else, but he knows exactly what comes to him and he’ll tell the engineer, ‘Put this reverb on my voice when I do this.’ And he did something, and I didn’t like it initially, and he said, ‘Just hold on for one second, Banner. We’re going to take this really, really low where you can barely hear it, and it’s going to give the music a sort of sexual ambiance, and you’re not really going to be able to hear it with your ears, but you’re going to feel it.’ And then he did it, and it happened, and it worked, and I was like aww, I love it.”
A switching of the roles between the Mississippi rapper and the R&B crooner didn’t seem to bother Banner at all, as he spoke about his friend like a proud brother. “Chris is such a student of the game and a student of himself and his mistakes and triumphs musically. I was really proud to see him take control of himself and realize what his strongpoints and weaknesses are, and improve to the best of his ability. I learned so much.”
When pressed for details on what the “Get Like Me” collaborators have in store on Fortune, Banner couldn’t contain his excitement. “When I tell you, you know how they don’t play that much R&B in the club no more? The song that me and Chris made, they are going to play like they used to play Jodeci. Like they used to play Keith Sweat. The song that me and Chris made is so jamming. Put it like this: The song that David Banner and Chris Brown have on this album… Whoooooooooooooooooooo! That’s all I have to say.”
The “Swag” MC was so impressed with what they’ve got cooked up, he even broke one of his own rules of not taking music out of the studio. “I told Chris, you gotta give me this one, Buddy. When I tell you I bumps this record… I BUMPS this record!”