Exclusive is the second studio album by American recording artist Chris Brown. The album was originally scheduled to be released August 28, 2007, but was pushed back to October 30, 2007, then pushed back even further to its final release date of November 6, 2007.
The album was both critically and commercially successful, reaching number four on the US Billboard 200 chart on its debut. It sold 295,000 units within a week of release. The album yielded three Billboard Hot 100 top five singles, and was successful in music markets, entering the top twenty of many charts worldwide. Exclusive was re-released on June 3, 2008 as an expanded double-disc deluxe edition; a DVD counterpart was also released, featuring behind the scenes footage and music videos from his tour. The album has earned double platinum certification in the United States from the Recording Industry Association of America; worldwide sales stand at three million copies sold. The album ranked number thirty-four on Rolling Stone's list of the Top 50 Albums of 2007.
The album was originally going to be titled Graduation, but was renamed due to rapperKanye West's album going by the same name. In an interview with MTV Brown stated the following,
I am still going to keep it so my younger fans can continue to listen to my music, but I got a couple of joints on there that's for some of the older people.
The first single, which was "Wall to Wall", garnered minor success compared to Brown's previous singles. The track was produced by Sean Garrett. Chris Brown confirmed in a 106 & Park appearance that the second single is "Kiss Kiss", which features and is produced by T-Pain. The song "Nice" featuring The Game samples Stacee Adams' club hit "The Last Call". The rap part in "The Last Call" was also performed by The Game and was also penned by one of Brown's producers, Scott Storch.
Brown small concerts around Europe, including in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany and many more for further promotion for Exclusive, beginning from March 6, 2008 until March 24, 2008. Brown performed a medley of "Wall To Wall," "Umbrella" and "Kiss Kiss" with Rihanna at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. He also performed "Kiss Kiss" at the 2007 American Music Awards ceremony. He made formal appearances around the UK to promote the third single, "With You" which became his second top ten hit in the UK. He performed "With You" and "Take You Down" at the 2008 BET Awards while dancing with Ciara. Brown also traveled to Australia to do shows and make appearances in late 2008. He did shows with Rihanna as they headlined together and he performed on Australian Idol verdict show in November singing "Forever". During his show with Rihanna, he started with "Wall to Wall" coming down from the roof and ended with his big hits; "Run It!," "Kiss Kiss," "With You," "No Air" and "Forever". Brown continued touring U.S. with Bow Wow in support for Exclusive visiting over thirty venues. The tour also featured some special guests including Sean Kingston, Soulja Boy, Shop Boyz, Keyshia Cole, Lil Mama, and more artists. The remainder of this 2007/2008 trek started in Cincinnati, Ohio, on December 6, 2007 with final concert on February 3, 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The documented footage was released on June 3, 2008 as the double album of Exclusive: The Forever Edition, including behind scenes, live performances and interviews. The album was re-released on June 3, 2008 in the U.S. and on June 22 in the U.K., titled Exclusive: The Forever Edition, making the track "Forever" the lead single of the re-release, produced by Polow da Don and written by Chris Brown, Andre Merritt, and Rob Allen. The album has 4 additional tracks and a bonus DVD of an unreleased concert and behind the scenes footage.
"Wall to Wall" was released as the album first single on May 28, 2007. It reached only number 79 in the Billboard Hot 100 due to no digital release. "Kiss Kiss" which features rap from T-Pain was released as the album second single on September 11, 2007, following the non-success of the first single. The single had a big success in the U.S., reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 on the Canadian Hot 100, also reaching the top ten in Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Following "Wall to Wall" and "Kiss Kiss", "With You" was released on December 4, 2007 in the United States as the album's third single, and the second single in most international music markets. It has since become one of the highest-charting singles of Brown's solo career, entering foreign music markets where previous efforts failed to chart on. It has reached the top ten in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK. The first single from the re-release, "Forever" debuted at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 due of its high digital sales, but dropped quickly due to the lack of sales in the following weeks, but it then re-entered the top ten again after airplay increase and has peaked at number 2. On June 22, 2008, Fearne & Reggie revealed on the UK chart show on BBC Radio 1 that 3 tracks from the "Exclusive" album appeared in the top 40, 2 of which on the top ten. "With You" at number 35, "No Air" with Jordin Sparks at number 2, and "Forever" at number 5.
Exclusive received generally favorable reviews from critics, scoring 69 out of 100 based on 11 reviews on Metacritic. Bill Lamb of About.com gave the album four out of five stars, characterized the album as "an admirably clean record that is unlikely to raise any fears from parents concerned about content. However, he does not sacrifice anything in utilizing the talents of a wide range of today's top R&B producers and songwriters. Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone said that “It's been a long stretch between Usher albums — long enough for Chris Brown to build a whole career, growing from a temporary substitute to an undeniably major pop star. He seals the deal with Exclusive, an all-grown-up album on a level with Justin Timberlake's Justified, Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad or even Bobby Brown's King of Stage, and gave the album three and a half out of five stars.
Neil Drumming from Entertainment Weekly rated the album as B- said that, "Like his onscreen (This Christmas) character, Brown is most charming when he's playing up his youth: singing of MySpace romance, meeting his girl's 'pops,' and such". But he also said, "sadly, Brown's adolescent voice and playful scatting — while cute — are steamrolled by pushy collaborators, whether it's those Stargate guys (Ne-Yo, Rihanna) falling back on that ol' guitar noodling, or T-Pain milking his vocoder. Ease back, people, and let the boy sing". However, Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine criticized the unoriginality of the album, writing, "...there's still nothing very 'exclusive' about Exclusive at all." Michael Arceneaux of PopMatters wrote, "Exclusive seems aimless, an album where Brown is doing what he’s told versus being the anchor of his own ship."
Internationally, Exclusive gained moderate reactions in the first week of release. The album debuted outside the top 30 in most of the charts it's appeared on. But, when the third single, "With You" released worldwide in early 2008, the album climbed back into the top twenty in most of the chart because of the single worldwide successful, reaching number 3 in New Zealand, number 5 in Australia, number 11 in Ireland and number 14 in UK. It has gone Platinum in Canada and UK, 2x Platinum in Australia, and 2x Platinum in New Zealand The re-release also helped the album rise from fifty-six to ten on Billboard 200 with 38,000 copies sold, about 261% sales increase that week. The Forever Edition also debuted at #18 in New Zealand before finally rising to #3 the next week, following the success of "Forever" which has stayed at #1 for 7 consecutive weeks. The re-release also peaked at #9 in Australia, whilst "Forever" continued to receive more airplay. Following the re-release, "Exclusive" jumped from number 48 to number 3 in Ireland, before reaching number 2 following week. In the UK, the re-release entered the UK Albums Chart at #6, climbing to #3 the following week, outpeaking the peak U.S. position. It has officially been certified platinum status in the UK, becoming his first platinum album in the UK. Exclusive became Brown's first top ten album in both territories. So far, it has sold more than three millions copies worldwide.
At the 2008 Grammy Awards, Exclusive was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of "Best Rap/Sung Collaboration" for "Kiss Kiss", his collaboration with T-Pain. However, the award was given to the 2007 rival single, "Umbrella" by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z. The album also nominated for a NAACP Image Awards in a category for "Best Album", while Chris himself won for "Best Male Artist". At the 2008 BET Awards Chris received 4 nominations in four categories, including "Best Male R&B Artist", "Best Collaboration" for "Kiss Kiss", and "Viewer’s Choice" for "Kiss Kiss" and "No Air", his duet with Jordin Sparks.
Chris Brown On Tour (Documentary)
Completing the Forever Edition package is a bonus DVD with a special montage of performances from his recent Up-Close & Personal sold-out tour and never before seen behind the scenes footage. Being a guest of the Keyshia Cole Just like You sold-out tour.
There are two versions of the Forever Edition, one with the DVD and one without. These are sold separately. In UK, only the CD edition is available. However, in many countries (e.g. Germany, Australia) both editions are available.