Chris Brown's career is on an upswing, previously down from the aftermath of his February 2009 assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna.
Brown's celebrity friends are showing him support. Drake, T.I., Kanye West and Andre 3000 appear on a remix of his top 20 song "Deuces."
But Pharrell Williams, frontman of N.E.R.D. and one of Brown's big brothers in the music business, has taken it a step further, writing a song of encouragement for the embattled singer.
N.E.R.D., Williams' alternative hip hop band with Chad Hugo and Shae Williams, features the song "God Bless Us All" on its fourth studio album, "Nothing." The track is dedicated to Brown, Williams revealed to Yahoo! Music.
"'God Bless Us All' is about Chris. When you hear me say, 'Hold your head up lil' bruh,' I'm talking about Chris," said Williams, who added that Brown refers to him as Big Bro. "When I say, ‘You're a Brown in this world that's black and white,' I wasn't talking about the fact that there are issues and you're either black or white. I was saying the world is just very clear. It's black and white."
(Pharrell discusses Chris Brown at the 1:37 mark.)
The song's strong message of hope tells Brown not to focus on the negativity, but to stay optimistic. "Forget what you read lil' bruh/ Get them words out your head lil' bruh," Williams sings.
In another verse, Williams adds, "You were made to amaze and bring change lil' bruh."
The overall tone of the entire N.E.R.D. album is uplifting. The alternative hip hop band was inspired by music from artists like Neil Young and others from the '60s and '70s.
"When we made this record we kinda stumbled into that late '60s and early '70s kinda culture sound," Williams said. "Before we knew it there was the Neil Young feeling song, then the kinda moody blues, then we wanted a big festive, you know, we just won a football game or sports championship moment."
While the music may take the album's sound back three or more decades, the themes are modern, Williams said. "It doesn't sound like what's going on today, but it literally talks about all that stuff that goes on today," he said.
The album artwork strikes a universal chord. "The army helmet was kinda like representative of war and the features represent peace," Williams said. "It's just presenting the view of the world without a political slant and without a righteous slant."
N.E.R.D. members Williams and Haley stopped by the Yahoo! Music offices to perform three new songs from "Nothing," "Hot N' Fun," "Hypnotize U," and "I Wanna Jam." Check them out below.