During his standoff with Los Angeles police on Tuesday, Brown posted Instagram videos and joked that the incident was a good marketing opportunity. It’s not clear if the new song, “What Would You Do?” was written and recorded in response to the incident—he was immediately released on a $250,00 bond—but Brown was right.
The track is a house-fused lounge banger. Brown leans on his vocoder-accented pipes to add the Smuckers. It’s not political, instead leaning on his late-night romance themes that fuel his biggest work. My guess is he had it laying around and felt like some audience engagement post-standoff. But even a Brown throwaway track is a vastly satisfying slab of humanist pop—and continues his astonishing knack for separating life from art.