Two weeks from its release, Timbaland has dropped R&B singer Chris Brown from his forthcoming album, calling the last-minute decision "mutual". Brown recorded vocals for The One I Love before his assault on then girlfriend Rihanna in February.
"There's nothing against Chris," said Timbaland's manager, Marcus Spence. "We love Chris." And yet Spence wouldn't explain the reason for Brown's disappearance from Shock Value II, Timbaland's third solo album. "It was a mutually creative decision for both," he said.
That decision was perhaps informed by the events of 8 February, when Brown attacked Rihanna. Since pleading guilty to assault in August, Brown has tried to resurrect his career, launching a "Fan Appreciation" tour and rallying musical supporters like Soulja Boy and New Yung Joc.
According to DOE, a rapper who also appears on The One I Love, the song didn't always have that name. Originally called Maniac, the title was only changed this summer, after "some people" saw a PR disaster waiting to happen. It's this kind of "drama", a source told TMZ, that resulted in Brown and Timbaland parting ways.
Shock Value II will be released 8 December, the same day as Brown's own comeback album, Graffiti.