Last week (September 12), Tinashe opened up about her regret regarding collaborations with controversial artists R. Kelly and Chris Brown in an interview with Zach Sang. When asked if her songs with Brown and Kelly (“Player” and “Let’s Be Real,” respectively) were choices she felt pressured into due to label influence, she candidly expressed, “You think I wanted to? [laughs] I literally… I block out that R. Kelly song from my mind. I forget that it even exists. That is so embarrassing.
That is so unreal that I even have a song with R. Kelly. That’s so embarrassing. Yes, that was label-y! […] And I was so young, too, which is crazy because I feel like I did that song when I just signed to that label. I was probably, like, 20. That was crazy.”
Sang added that despite public perception, Tinashe likely had limited control over these collaborations. Tinashe concurred, saying, “You do, a thousand percent. Especially when it comes to singles, for example — that song with Chris [Brown]: that was a song that I put a lot of… we all wanted it to be this big moment, this big single. So I feel like, in their mind, they were like, ‘You need the support.’ He was their biggest artist that they had on rhythmic radio at the time. To me, I was like, ‘Well, this is a pop song. So, I really don’t feel like we should put Chris on it.’ That doesn’t compute to me, but… I don’t know.”
In response to Tinashe’s comments, Chris Brown took to Instagram to address a headline about her regretting their 2015 collaboration, stating, “NAME 5 TINASHE songs or die…. 👀 EVERYBODY DEAD 💀.”
He continued, “She full of dat evil. Shawty career is nonexistent. What’s more embarrassing is that she worked with all these people, and not one of us could save her career.”
It’s worth noting that Chris Brown has a history of reported violence against women, notably the 2009 assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna. In contrast, R. Kelly was found guilty in 2021 on all nine charges brought against him, including racketeering and sex trafficking, and is currently serving a 30-year sentence after a federal trial in New York.
Tinashe parted ways with RCA in 2019 and recently signed with Nice Life Recording Company earlier this year.