Chris Brown is back in jail after being booted from a rehab facility where he was going through anger management. He was ordered to remain behind bars until at least April 23, when he will have a probation violation hearing. He is still on probation related to the assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. If his stay in jail is extended, he could still be behind bars for the release of his latest album, X, which drops May 5. Brown would not be the first to release an album while in custody.
T.I., whose 2008 song “Live your Life” featured Rihanna, has released an album while incarcerated. His seventh album came out after he had returned to prison for violating his probation on a weapons charge. The album, No Mercy (2010), debuted at #4 on the Billboard charts. Recently, T.I. was a featured player in Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines,” and he has a new album slated for release later this year.
Lil Wayne‘s 8-month sentence for attempted criminal weapons possession didn’t stop him from releasing 2010’s I Am Not a Human Being. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, which is an honor that only Tupac Shakur has also accomplished while incarcerated. Lil Wayne has since released The Carter IV (2011) and I am Not a Human Being II (2013).
If the past is any indication of the public’s ability to forgive and forget Brown’s legal problems, X may still be a hit even if Brown is still in jail for its release. About ten months after his assault against Rihanna, Brown released the album Graffiti, which only sold about a third the number of copies his 2007 record had two years earlier. However, Brown was back on top by 2011 when F.A.M.E. became his first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard charts. If he can come back from his infamous assault case, why wouldn’t he be able to come back from this? Whether or not Brown is still incarcerated when the album drops, it’s his fans that will ultimately decide if his personal and legal problems are worth not purchasing his music. Are you a Chris Brown Fan? Does this latest legal problem make you less likely to buy his music?