Art imitates life in Chris Brown’s new video for “Crawl,” which the embattled singer premiered today on The Wendy Williams Show. With lyrics like, “Everybody says we’re through/I hope you haven’t said it, too,” it’s easy to draw parallels to Brown’s infamous relationship with Rihanna, and the video makes it all the more obvious. Def Jam singer Cassie stars as the Rihanna stand-in, a.k.a., the famous ex-girlfriend who haunts Brown every time he sees her on television or on a red carpet.
The video for “Crawl,” which is the second single from Brown’s upcoming album Graffiti, also showcases Brown’s isolation and the icy public perception of him in the months following his February 8th altercation with Rihanna. In the video, cold breath exits Brown’s mouth when he sings, even though he sits in a sunny hotel room. Later, Brown crawls in the sand of a desolate desert. At one point in the video, Cassie and Brown come face to face in an alley, and while they seem like they’re on the verge of embrace, they instead draw back, which could be Brown’s commentary on the stay-away order that prevents Brown from being near Rihanna.
The Joseph Kahn-directed video is a sharp contrast to Brown’s high voltage “I Can Transform Ya” video and reflects the regret Brown still feels nine months after the Rihanna incident. “At the end of the day, I’m definitely remorseful and it’s not something that I take lightly or think that it’s like under the rug,” Brown said on the Wendy Williams Show. “I really think it’s something that is a serious matter and I’m learning from it.”
As Rolling Stone previously reported, Rihanna’s video for “Russian Roulette,” a song some consider to be about her relationship with Brown, will debut on tonight’s episode of 20/20. Read about that video here.