The New York Daily News won’t be too far off the next time they refer to Chris Brown as a rapper. The Virginia singer’s been balancing fiery bars and high notes all year. Hip-hop’s undoubtedly played a huge part in C. Breezy’s return to pop prominence—starting with the release of the crooner’s Fan of a Fan mixtape with Young Money rapper Tyga in 2010.
Earlier this year, Brown capitalized on the tape’s momentum when he dropped “Look At Me Now”—a single featuring the singer spitting bars with Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne. The song would eventually win three BET Hip Hop Awards—Brown also participated in the show’s cypher—and was nominated for two Grammys. He’s collaborated with Big Sean and Ace Hood, to name a few, and has released an all-rap mixtape, Boy in Detention.
He’s even displayed stereotypically rapper-like behavior (tantrums and twitter beefs). But, this is about praise, not criticism . XXL recognizes Breezy’s contribution to the culture and salutes him for it. Here’s a look back at Chris Brown’s Hip-Hop Moments in 2011.—Carl Chery (@cchery)