Chlöe – aka Chloe Bailey, one half of Chloe x Halle — continued the rollout of her debut solo studio on Friday (Feb. 24), releasing “How Does It Feel,” the second single (or “piece”) from In Pieces. After days of backlash over the song featuring Chris Brown, “How Does It Feel” arrived along with a video that saw Chlöe and Chris trade verses about a failing relationship. “Yeah, see that’s the thing about trust / It’s never been about us,” sings Chlöe, per Genius. ” ‘Cause we were doin’ too much / We threw the racks out at Follies / Gave you the key where my heart beat / You didn’t say it but you said it / It shouldn’t have hurt me but I let it.”
The visual also features Chlöe in a series of outfits, each showing more shin than the last. If the R&B song didn’t already establish her as a sex symbol, with her silky yet powerful vocals, the video certainly did (while also making a claim for her to be a new fashion icon.)
Chris heralded the song’s arrival on Instagram. “@chloebailey you are a beautiful soul… TAKE OVER THE WORLD SHAWTY and DON’T LOOK BACK! YOU ARE A QUEEN! DON’T LET NOBODY TELL YOU NO DIFFERENT! You followed your dreams and now the universe is fulfilling that manifestation,” he wrote on Feb. 22. “Can’t wait for the world to hear the magic we created,” Chlöe wrote underneath (h/t Billboard).
With Halley Bailey focusing on her acting career (she stars in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid this year), Chlöe has put her efforts into music. In Pieces, arriving in March, is “everything that I’ve been going through, all the tearing down, people underestimating, telling me I can’t do it — all of those things have gone into the music,” Chloe told Essence in 2022.
“The album is me picking myself up and talking myself out of any little place or space that the world has tried to put me in,” she added, “that people and personal relationships have tried to put me in, and even [doing that to] myself. It’s me breaking free.”
Chlöe announced the single on Feb. 16 by sharing a photo of her alongside Chris, 33, to her social media accounts. Immediately afterward, fans argued against the continued support of Chris Brown, considering his history of behavior. Cheetah Girls alum Kiely Williams wrote, “Let him come out with his own record – so genius, so captivating that it makes us all forget HE BEATS WOMEN. He can’t so he won’t. So what does he do? He slowly creeps back into the mainstream by getting small nods for features on Black Women’s merit. Black women who are more talented, more worthy, but give him the okay.”
Chris responded to Kiely by saying that ” you are at a point in your life where either you are very broke or broken. THE FACT you think you have to speak negatively about me makes u look so lame.” Chris also mocked Kiely’s lisp with his comments.
On Feb. 17, Chris took to his Instagram Story to vent his frustration. “If y’all still hate me for a mistake I made as a 17-year-old, please kiss my whole entire a**,” he tweeted, referring to the February 2009 incident where he assaulted Rihanna to the point where she had to be hospitalized. Chris was charged with felony assault and making criminal threats. He later pleaded guilty in court to a felony and avoided prison.
On his IG Stories, Chris then posted 15 screenshots evidently from a Ranker post titled “Celebrities Who Have Been Charged With Domestic Abuse” (h/t Complex) while asking, “Where are the cancel culture with these white artists that date underage women, BEAT THE F*** OUT OF THEIR WIVES” and such.
In the wake of Chris’s defense, fans pointed out that his ex, Karruecche Tran, had to get a five-year restraining order against Brown in 2017. Chris reportedly left ” profanity-laden voicemails and text messages in which he threatened to ‘beat the s***’ out of her,” per The Daily Beast.