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Channeling Elvis; Chris Brown and James DeBarge making jailhouse pop

Chris Brown and James DeBarge locking down the beats in jail.
Chris Brown and James DeBarge locking down the beats in jail.Chris Brown via his Facebook page/James DeBarge via his Twitter page

The old saying goes that politics makes strange bedfellows. Well now it can also be said that prison makes strange bedfellows. The Los Angeles County jail is currently playing host to two of the smoothest voices in R&B music. Chris Brown and James DeBarge are prisoners in adjacent cells and making the most of their time.

Brown was on probation stemming from his altercation with pop star Rhianna. He allegedly assaulted someone who was trying to photobomb his picture with a fan and was thrown in jail for violating parole. He was originally scheduled to be released July 6th, but may be set free as soon as sometime in June. Brown has been charting since the early 2000’s and is known for such songs as ‘Kiss, Kiss’, ‘Run It’, ‘Fine China’, and ‘Wall To Wall’.

DeBarge, once married to Janet Jackson, is serving time for drug possession. He was known for chart-toppings hits with his family group DeBarge and is brother to the famous solo artist El DeBarge. This is not his first run-in with the law. He has prior arrests for weapon and drug possessions. DeBarge and his famous siblings ruled the charts in the 80’s with hits such as ‘Time Will Reveal’, “I Like It’, ‘Who’s Holding Donna Now’ and ‘All This Love’.

But apparently, music spans time. Although the two singers are a generation apart, they have become fast friends in prison. They are separated by a prison wall in a section that houses high profile inmates. According to TMZ, they are spending the long hours singing songs with the other prisoners joining in and providing the harmonies.

While Brown is marinating in prison his music is still working for him on the outside. His song “Loyal” is currently number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. And it has been on the chart for 17 weeks. There is no word yet when or if these latest collaborations will be released as CDs; but Brown and DeBarge have already completed three songs, and are working on more.