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Reclaiming Fame: Singer Chris Brown’s Crawl Video


Reclaiming Fame: Singer Chris Brown’s Crawl Video

R&B singer Chris Brown’s video “Crawl” was released on digital download in the United States on November 24, 2009. The song was released months after his now infamous domestic violence incident on February 8, 2009.

Many believe the song is about resolving  his relationship with Rihanna. That may be the case but I have a different take on the meaning of this song and video.

Another meaning that can be derived from the song and the video is about Chris Brown, the inner person and what he has to do to keep maintain a successful career.

The symbols depicted in the video offer insight on the spiritual state of Chris Brown as well as what he will go through to reclaim his fame and success.

In most cases the symbols used in the video have more than one meaning. Yet they all apply to what we have read or think we know about Chris Brown during the time from the unfortunate incident with Rihanna to when this video was made

Chris Brown Wearing Eyeglasses

The video begins with Chris Brown sitting on the edge of his bed in a white t-shirt jeans, sneakers and wearing glasses. Wearing eyeglasses indicates that one’s sight is impaired as well as difficulties in judgement i.e. “can’t see straight”.

Eyes are windows to soul and if someone is wearing glasses, on a metaphysical level it represents that a person needs assistance or an aid in the dealing with issues of the soul or inner person. Thus one is having difficulty listening to the inner voice and establishing clear thought, hence experiencing uncertainty about the choices that were made. Wearing eye glasses is the use of an external aid to assist one doing something that should come naturally.

Star Tattoos

We are able to see visibly only the tattoos that are stars below his ear and on one of his arms. He uses one hand to hide or cover up the other tattoos, thus not enabling us to identify the other tattoos.  Shooting star tattoos are a very popular image, being versatile and appealing. They are suggestive of wishes coming true.

Snow& The Cold

It is visibly cold in his room and this is evident by the frost coming from his breath as he sings. We then see a star on the Hollywood walk of fame with snowing falling down on it.  We also see it snowing in Los Angeles. The star once again is a symbol of success and his desire to obtain it. The snow in one aspect represents the current obstacles that he is facing to be “a star”, his career is literally “on freeze”. This is especially the case with the presence of snow in Los Angeles, the place where stars are made. Los Angeles, which literally means “the angels” indicates that Chris Brown’s  angels  or benefactors are also “in the cold”. The snow signifies inhibitions, unexpressed emotions and feelings of frigidity. The presence of snow with Chris Brown, walking alone or distant from success/fame (Cassie) also indicates a sense of feeling indifferent, alone or neglected.

Brown’s sense of isolation and being alone was so great that for him even Los Angeles, CA  is cold.To be a success one must let go of the aforementioned emotions.

Cassie

 Cassie is the main female character and she always seem just out of the grasp of Chris Brown. She represents fame or success that Chris Brown is seeking, which at the present time is seems elusive.

When she first appears in the video, she is in the room with Chris but not physically near. It is almost as if  she is a product of his daydream or imagination in that scene.  She “appears” by the window, where the most sunlight is entering the room.

Her trademark hairstyle with one side shaved off and the other with a full body of hair offer dual understanding of Chris Brown’s relationship to fame and its pursuit.

Hair has  been a symbol of strength as seen in the Samson story in religious lore as well as the philosophy of Rastafarians. Hair represents style, creativity, state of health and youth.

On one level, Cassie’s hairstyle symbolizes the weakened state of Chris Brown’s stature as a popular recording artist, meaning he is not at full strength.

Cassie’s side that is shaved off  side is almost similar to the crop buzz cut popular in the military. The other aspect of what Cassie’s hairstyle symbolizes in this video is that Chris Brown would have to undergo a military boot camp work ethic to regain his high level of popular recognition, which is now not at its highest point.

The most telling part of the video for me was when Cassie’s character received all the attention from the paparazzi and adoring fans and Chris Brown could only painfully observe from a distance.  Cassie’s character comes out of the club or venue and enters into a limo, while Chris Brown walks in the alley.

Alley

Travelling along an alley suggests that one is taken a route in life which is hidden from those around them. They are ignoring the opinions of others or are not aware of them. When Chris Brown takes the alley way, there is no one else there until Cassie’s character appears. Chris meets Cassie’s character face to face, the shot that we see is Cassie’s profile with the long body of hair, looking Chris Brown straight in the eyes. Brown for a brief moment takes off his glasses before putting them back  on. They appear as though they  would kiss but you only get a sense of the attraction they feel for each other and the nervousness of Chris Brown to actually touch Cassie, who represents success and fame.

Chris Brown , as Cassie walks away and begins dancing, with a smirk or smile on his face.

Inner Child

There is a scene in the video, where Chris Brown is standing in front of a retail establishment with numerous televisions in its front window that have images of Cassie. He is approached by a much younger male child and engage in a friendly dance competition, where they shake hands and go their separate ways.

This scene indicates for Chris Brown to regain his true love his music career he must be in touch with his “inner child”

Sand

Sand in symbolic terms means a “shift in perspective” and a “change in attitude”.

The desert scene where Chris Brown is dancing on sand is the only time that we actually see Chris Brown crawl. The image of Brown crawling on sand is a symbol rooted in the initiation rites, where one is seriously prepared to undergo a transformation.

Crawl according to Webster is:

1 : to move slowly in a prone position without or as if without the use of limbs <the snake crawled into its hole>
2 : to move or progress slowly or laboriously <traffic crawls along at 10 miles an hour>
3 : to advance by guile or servility <crawling into favor by toadying to his boss>
4 : to spread by extending stems or tendrils <a crawling vine>
5 a : to be alive or swarming with or as if with creeping things <a kitchen crawling with ants> b : to have the sensation of insects creeping over one <the story made her flesh crawl>
6 : to fail to stay evenly spread —used of paint, varnish, or glazetransitive verb 1 : to move upon in or as if in a creeping manner <all the creatures that crawl the earth>
2 : to reprove harshly <they got no good right to crawl me for what I wrote — Marjorie K. Rawlings>

With the varied possibilities to what “crawl could mean, it gives greater insight to why some people have suspicions about Brown’s motives, as was expressed at the 2010 BET Awards.

Was Brown operating on “crawl” as to” to move or progress slowly or laboriously” or was he appearing to “crawl” in the sense of  “to advance by guile or servility”?

Under the lens of numerology the word Crawl” is: C=3+ R=9+ A=1+ W=5+ L=3=21=2+1=3.

21 is the winning hand in Black Jack and 3 represents the spirit. On both levels Brown is attempting to be a winner and regain his own and the spirit of his career.

Chris Brown is literally “crossing the burning sand”, which is a ritual act of various organizations which slightly differ from the following listed below:

This brings us back to the desert, or wilderness. For those of us who are members of these Greek-lettered organizations, what does this have to do with us? Well, for one thing, when a person lives a life of sin, he is constantly faced with temptations of the flesh. The “burning sands” represents those trials and tribulations that we are constantly faced with in our daily lives. The practice of “crossing the sands” represents our triumph over the temptations of the flesh, when we must rely on the assistance of another to successfully make it across the burning sands. Just as Je’sus was tempted in the wilderness, or the desert, we too are tested in our daily lives, and we need to rely on a strength greater than what we possess (2 Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” ).

There is also the journey when some are taught that they are the greek traveler, coming from the deserts of what is known as “Africa” crossing the sands with one mission in mind. “Bringing knowledge to those who are without.” When he crossed the sands he found a people who were in need of knowledge.”

                                                                   Summary

The video and song “Crawl” by Chris Brown is largely viewed to be a song about a man trying to regain the love of a past love.  Many believe that the song is about Brown and Rhianna. While this may be true, there is another way to interpret the song and video.

The love that the song speaks of is Brown’s music career, not of a particular woman. 

The song released after his domestic violence incident, brought to bear the anxiety that Brown had in regards to the backlash by the public and music industry for what he had done.

Chris Brown playing himself and  while Cassie is the “love interest” in the video is actually the symbol for the fame that Brown is seeking to recapture.

The alienation that he feels after the public becomes aware of the domestic violence incident he was involved in, renders him to a cold and isolated state. He is in such a “cold” state, that even the usually sunny and warm Los Angeles, CA has snow. The snow falls on the star that he is trying to become. But on a deeper level, Los Angeles means “the angels” and his angels are on “freeze”.

This profound sense of alienation results with his vision being impaired and has to use glasses to assistant him in restoring proper sight. The eyes being the age-old metaphor for being the “windows to the soul” is another malady Brown suffers because of his poor decisions and hence his inner being suffers.

To regain his fame and success, restoring it to its heights before it diminished he must  take an alternate route (the alley)reconnect with his inner child and “cross the burning sand”.

The scene with Brown in the desert, is the only one where he actually crawls. The image of Brown crawling across the hot/burning sands is an example of a ritual in Greek letters and Masonic organizations.  While they differ in some degree, they all deal with the initiate undergoing a transformation and becoming a new person. 

Time will tell what is in store for Brown.

©VisionThought 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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3 Responses to “Reclaiming Fame: Singer Chris Brown’s Crawl Video”

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