It’s been three years since Chris Brown violently assaulted Rihanna the night before The Grammys, but has time healed all wounds? Rumors that Brown will appear on the remix to the pop star’s Talk That Talk track “Birthday Cake” have circulated all around the web, though neither party has confirmed or denied the unprecedented collaboration. We’ve rounded up all the reports concerning the mystery collab to figure out whether this is just a lot of talk or the real deal — here’s everything we know:
1. Chris and Rihanna were recently seen leaving the same recording studio. They’ve also been spotted hanging out together — at Rihanna’s 24th birthday party, no less.
2. The track’s producing team Da Internz told MTV that the song’s collaboration is going “to shock the world.” Can you think of a more shocking featured artist for Rihanna to collaborate with?
3. However, when a fan tweeted directly to Da Internz asking if it was true (“please just say the WOW collaborator is not that felony assault guy!”), he responded with a resounding “NOPE”. (Then again, was he saying that he would not not say it’s Brown?)
4. Miss Info reports that Brown is definitely on the song, citing two independent sources. “He recorded both a singing verse, and a rap verse. (We’ll see if both of those verses make the final song.)
5. Hip-hop music blogger Karen Civil is also reporting it’s true. “Sources tell us that he is indeed going to be featured on the track, and during the recording process, Rihanna was not present. Less than 5 people were in the studio, including the engineer, a label rep from RCA, and Chris Brown himself.”
6. Rihanna left this cryptic tweet this morning: “They can say whatever, Ima do whatever…No pain is forever. YUP! YOU KNOW THIS.” (Yes, that’s a lyric from her song “Hard”, but why tweet that sentiment now?)
At this rate, we’ll be shocked if the collaboration is with anybody but Chris Brown.
If this turns out to be true, what do you think of Rihanna teaming up with the man who assaulted her? Does this send a bad message to her fans, or should she be able to work professionally with Brown without being condemned for it? Let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.