What were they thinking, anyway?
Rihanna fans were shocked on Monday when the superstar, 24, released a sexually explicit remix of her song "Birthday Cake," featuring her notorious ex-boyfriend Chris Brown; Brown himself released a raunchy remix of his "Turn Up the Music" featuring Rihanna.
The collaboration comes three years afer Brown's Grammys-eve assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna; as Us Weekly has reported, the twosome have been secretly hooking up for a year.
According to hip-hop producer The-Dream, who worked on the "Birthday Cake" remix, the musical reunion was "Rih's idea," he told Billboard.com.
"Not only do we work together, but [Rihanna] is a friend of mine. And it's like, 'You wanna do something? Then cool, let's do it.' I don't know how she got the logistics and how it happened -- maybe she'll talk about it one day," The-Dream (real name: Terius Nash) explained. "I showed up at the studio, and it was like, 'All right, cool, let's finish this record,' which we probably should have finished the first time we did it."
The-Dream didn't see any problem with the Rihanna-Brown rematch. "For me, it's just music -- two talented people doing a record together, doing two records together, and that's what it was," he claimed. "It wasn't about an incident that happened. The true thing really is to forgive, and… you want to believe in people."
He suggested that the songs reflect Rihanna's "power to forgive" her violent ex.
"This is about her," he said of Rihanna. "If she can forgive, that's where she is mentally. As a friend, it's like, 'Okay, cool. Let's roll.'"