TODAY | April 01, 2013
>> as i mentioned chris is joining us live in the studio. welcome back.
>> good to see you too, man.
>> this is " fine china " the album will come out sometime this summer. you wanted to take the quincy jones approach to this. i'm not exactly sure what that means.
>> when we composed the album and put it together i wanted to put a lot of producers and a lot of writers in the same place and have like a camp, so there's a camaraderie and chemistry with everybody. it naturally flows in the studio and everybody's energy they can be more creative so i wanted to take that approach.
>> you're 23 years old. you came out with your first music when you were 16, you were discovered at 13 i think it was.
>> when you look at your music today versus the music you were putting out at 16 and 17 years old, who is the biggest difference in.
>> the biggest difference i would say me being older now as far as when i first started the subject matter might have still been a little bit, you know in my age bracket. now my music is maturing, trials and tribulations, me as a young 23-year-old man so that in a nutshell can sum it up for how mature the album can get.
>> we've been here several times over the last few years. the biggest difference i would tell our viewers, you are agreeing to sit down and talk about things that you haven't talked about over the last three years.
>> the incident in 2009 with rihanna , you were charged with a felony and convicted of of a felony.
>> you've said in the interviews i've read over the last couple of days that you are a changed man. how are you different?
>> for me i've been humbled by the whole experience from me losing everything, you know, to me having to regain public opinion or whatever it is, but most importantly, you know, knowing that what i did was totally wrong, you know, and having to deal with myself and forgive myself in the same breath and you know, being able to apologize to rihanna and being able to be that man that can be a man.
>> and yet you know there are cynics out there, there are skeptics out there who are going to say he's a changed man because he's out there selling a new album and image is important if he wants to sell that album. i was looking back over the last year, even the last several months there was the fight with frank olsen and the fight with drake. i looked at instagram pictures you posted in december, they weren't the most wholesome pictures. you understand where people might say i'm not sure he's changed yet. see what he's like six months after this album comes out.
>> i mean, i think everybody's entitled to their opinion. for me it's just a learning process. i have to take it one day at a time. i can't make everybody like me. i think for my album and what i'm promoting about the single is about me being positive and everything i'm doing is hopefully inspiring people that have been in my situation or even anybody who is trying to learn from me.
>> i was reading headlines over the weekend online that said you were either off with rihanna or still on with rihanna . first of all, clear it up for me, what is the status?
>> absolutely. we're fine. i think in the actual interview that they tried to depict that, they missed, they got it wrong. i think they interviewed for me "o" interview that was a year prior.
>> you're together as a cupel?
>> yes, everything is fine.
>> you know when that was announced the reaction was strong from a lot of people.
>> as always, that's old news.
>> so much emotions. lot of people worried i think about her and the choices that she was making.
>> and they thought this is going to end badly. how do you respond to that?
>> well, i think it's just me proving myself once again and also me being a man and knowing that what i did was wrong and never doing it again. so as far as me and her are concerned she knows my heart and i know her heart. i'm not really focused on the negative. everything about it is positive for me. i did my 52 weeks of counseling and learned that it was absolutely wrong, you know, and --
>> did you go through therapy?
>> it was domestic violence counseling, 52-week program, every monday in virginia, i remember going and just sitting in there and just like why did i do what i did and really wanted to get help.
>> are you sure it will never happen again.
>> here's what rihanna said "i thought i hated chris and i realized it was love that was tarnished. it looked like hate because ugly, angry, enflamed and tainted. i realized that what it was is i have to forgive him because i cared about him still and the minute i let go of that i started living again." you understand that if you behave badly again, you're going to damage not only your relationship but her reputation as well.
>> absolutely. absolutely. so that's why i'm moving forward, positive.
>> people in this country it seems love to build someone up.
>> and bring them down.
>> they enjoy standing on the sidelines and watching if someone goes down but it's also been said people like comeback stories.
>> do you think the people who have been your harshest critics have it in their hearts to give you a chance at a comeback?
>> for me it's about proving myself to my fans and my fans have been the number one support for me so i think the naysayers will have their opinions, anything i do whether it be walking down the street, i might say something to somebody, it's not going to be always q chris is the greatest" so i'm not going to focus my life on pleasing the people. i can please my family and myself and her and my fans.
>> chris , thank you.
>> you're my man, thank you, brother.
>> check out chris 's new video in its entirety on today.com.