Tinashe has addressed her past collaborations with Chris Brown and R. Kelly, saying she was essentially forced by her former label RCA to release them. In an interview on the Zach Sang Show, the singer opened up about the fractious relationship she had with her former label, with whom she split in 2019.
Host Zach Sang asked whether the songs she’d done with Brown and R. Kelly were a directive from her label, to which Tinashe laughed and replied: “You think I wanted [them]?”
Tinashe Speaks About Working With R. Kelly, Chris Brown
“I literally block out that R. Kelly song from my mind — I forget that it even exists,” Tinashe said. “That is so embarrassing. That is so unreal that I even have a song with R. Kelly… 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.”
The song, ‘Let’s Be Real’, appeared on Kelly’s 2015 album The Buffet. Brown appeared on Tinashe’s 2015 single ‘Player’.
“That song with Chris [Brown], that was a song that… we all wanted it to be this big moment — this big single,” Tinashe explained. “So I feel like in [the label’s] mind, they were like ‘You need the support.’ And [Chris] was like their biggest artist that they had on rhythmic radio at the time.
“I was like, ‘Well, this is a pop song so I really don’t feel like we should put Chris on it like that. I don’t like that. That doesn’t compute to me’.”
“I don’t know, hindsight is 20/20,” she added.
R. Kelly is currently serving a 30-year sentence for sex trafficking and racketeering. He was also convicted of a number of child pornography charges. Brown assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, and has been involved in a string of violent incidents in the years since.
Tinashe’s latest album BB/ANG3L is out now.