As the saying goes, the way you spend your New Year’s is the way you’ll spend the rest of the year. For most of us, this old adage predicts twelve months of avoiding parties, holding your best friend’s hair in a bar bathroom, or rewinding that Mariah Carey performance one more time. But Chris Brown, the R&B singer with nine lives and about as many arrests, picked a less conventional way to usher in the new year—by posting thirsty comments on his ex’s Instagram. 2017 may be the year of forcing yourself to forget, but for Brown, it’s just as good a time as any to reconcile.
The ex in question is Karrueche Tran, his off-again, on-again girlfriend since 2011. Tran and Brown’s relationship is a classic tale of boy meets girl, boy dumps girl for Rihanna, boy reunites with girl, boy goes to jail, girl maybe goes on a few dates with Drake, boy fathers a child with another woman, girl officially declares “no baby drama for me” on Twitter. At first, Brown seemed dedicated to getting Tran back, buying her gifts and saying all sorts of nice things about her on TV and online. Then Chris Brown remembered that he has one of the worst personalities in hip-hop, and proceeded to lash out at Karrueche and diss her career prospects.
A bunch of shady Instagrams and one Aubrih later, it appears that Brown is attempting to get back in Tran’s pants/DMs/good graces. And since lavish presents didn’t work, Brown has resorted to the lowest possible rung on the romance ladder: an Instagram comment. More specifically, the subtle and sweet admission “Still want it,” accompanied by the pair of eyes emoji. Unhappy exes of the world, take comfort: if you haven’t left an Instagram comment like this on their latest thirst trap, you still haven’t hit rock bottom. You are officially less pathetic than a Grammy Award-winner.
Unfortunately for Brown, he wasn’t the only dude trying to ring in the new year with a social media star. Joining Brown on Tran’s Instagram page was none other than the rapper Soulja Boy. At 26 years old and about half Brown’s body weight, Soulja Boy is hardly competition. Then again, never underestimate the pent-up ire of an Atlanta rapper who inadvertently penned a Bar Mitzvah classic. When he isn’t creating 2007’s answer to “Cotton Eye Joe,” Soulja Boy is apparently a huge Karrueche Tran stan—on a recent post of hers, he chimed in with a series of heart eye emojis. Brown’s response to this internet flirtation was, naturally, measured and mature.
According to a subsequent Soulja Boy Tweet, “Chris brown [sic] just called me and said he wanna fight me because I liked @karrueche picture on Instagram this n**** a bitch.” From there, the Twitter tirade only got less printable: “'Aye @chrisbrown pull up n**** I'll knock yo Bitch Ass out stop snorting so much coke…Chris Brown think he hard cuz he hit a woman. And jumped a fan at his house party on New Years lmao u can't fight Bitch do that shit to me.” He concluded, on January 2nd, “Fuck @chrisbrown.” While anything’s better than a repeat of 2016, this 2009 déjà vu isn’t exactly ideal.
Next, Soulja Boy posted a video threatening his newly-minted nemesis, promising, “When I see you Chris, imma beat yo ass…And Karrueche don’t want you.” Brown, who’s clearly resolved to delegate more efficiently in the new year, responded with a video of some of his friends waving guns in the air and going after Soulja Boy, insisting that he’s not “from the hood.” Brown is justified in not taking Soulja Boy’s threats too seriously. After all, the rapper has been pretty obvious about his voracious appetite for attention, chasing low grade beef with Lil Yachty, Quavo, and Shia LaBeouf.
Like its name, the “LaBeouf beef” was too good to be true. Basically, Soulja Boy took it upon himself to tell the freestyling actor that he wasn’t a rapper in a less-than-necessary PSA. The rapper also issued an edict banning LaBeouf from Atlanta—an exile as unwarranted as it is legally unenforceable. After promising to drop a diss track that would end the actor’s music career(?), Soulja Boy eventually opted for a compromise: “Only way I’d give Shia LaBeouf a pass? He gotta put me in the next Transformers movie. Put me in a movie, put me in something, put me in a TV show and you can come to Atlanta.”
Given Soulja Boy’s unfortunate status as a hip-hop has-been, Brown doesn’t seem too pressed about their feud. He did, however, post a few (blatantly homophobic) videos and memes of the rapper, as well as some footage of Soulja Boy unsuccessfully attempting to cover one of Brown’s songs. Next, he called Soulja Boy out for starting drama on social media—and ordered him to stop FaceTiming him—instead proposing that they fight it out in an official boxing match. “I don’t talk shit,” he concluded. “That shit is beneath me.”
Unfortunately, Brown couldn’t manage to follow his own advice, and proceeded to get even pettier on social media—first by accusing Soulja Boy of snitching, and then by sharing what looks to be the rapper’s personal cell number with his 34.2 million Instagram followers. With both men apparently down to duke it out, it appears that Soulja Boy’s New Year’s resolution to stay relevant is already coming to fruition. After so many targets, it makes sense that Brown—a failed anger management alum—was the one to finally challenge Soulja Boy to a fight. Congratulations, Soulja Boy, but be careful what you wish for.