This is the second single from Brandy's sixth studio album, Two Eleven, her debut project on RCA/Chameleon Records, following her departure from Epic. At the two and a half minute mark, Chris Brown jumps on with a Hip-Hop-inspired verse, Brandy preferring to go with Breezy rather than her own rapper alter ego, Bran'Nu. The song was premiered on April 26, 2012 and was made available for purchase as a digital download on May 8, 2012.
"It's called 'Put It Down,' but I like to call it 'Fall in Love,'" Brandy told The Boombox
. "But no one else likes that title. It's so new and so fresh. It's just a different vibe. It's R&B meets Hip-Hop and it's edgy and gritty, but it's about love, which is something we all want to experience and stay in love. I want to stay in love."
The song was penned by Brandy and Brown with songwriter/producer Sean Garrett, whose hit-filled resume includes Chris Brown's "Run It!
" and Usher's "Yeah
." It was produced by Shondrae "Bangladesh" Crawford, who also provided the beats on Lil Wayne's "A Milli
" and Kesha's "Sleazy
." Previous collaborations between Garrett and Bangladesh include Beyoncé's "Diva
The Two Eleven album title alludes to Brandy's birthday on February 11, and also the day that her mentor and good friend Whitney Houston died.
Regarding Breezy's contribution, Brandy told MTV News: "Chris Brown also wrote a song on the album called 'Slower,' so naturally he's heard other songs that I've done and he kinda just hopped on 'Put It Down' — rapping and singing — and it was organic and very authentic. When I heard it, I thought, 'This is great,' [because] he brought a whole new flavor to the record. Sean [Garrett] already made it kinda swagged out, but Chris Brown is just the icing on the cake, and I appreciated him for being a part of it and just being so supportive as an artist. He's so great, the girls love him, and I thought it would be great to have him onboard."
The song was Brandy's first solo single release since 2008's "Long Distance
" and its contemporary R&B sound differs from her previous work. "I just felt like, [when] being gone for such a long time, you need to come back with something strong and shock people," Brandy told Billboard
magazine. "Make them go, 'Wow, who is that? Oh my God, that's Brandy? I didn't' even know she can sound like that. Didn't know she would do a song like that?' Because It's completely different than anything I've ever done."
The Hype Williams directed video was filmed on July 10, 2012 and choreographed by Frank Gatson, who has worked with Beyoncé, Destiny's Child, and En Vogue. Brandy admitted to MTV News of being nervous about her performance. "We had a great time shooting the video, [but] I was so shy, because he's such a great entertainer and dancer," she said of Brown. "I worked with Frank Gatson on the choreography for the video, and I was so shy, because I'm coming into my own as a performer, so I really wanted to do good. Standing next to Chris, he's so vibrant, like, 'What am I gonna do standing there next to him?' But I practiced really hard, like two weeks before Chris practiced — wait, I'm pretty sure Chris didn't need to practice. But I practiced, I was ready.
"Chris Brown was not gonna upstage me!" she added, with a laugh. "I was gonna be right there along with him shinin' too. I feel like I held it down a little bit, and I definitely did a lot better when Chris wasn't around, because I was shy."
Two Eleven found Brandy moving away from R&B's traditional template. Brandy told Fader magazine: "I didn't want this album to sound like any type of R&B that I had done in the past. I wanted to get something that people would relate to and give it like, a groove. When I heard 'Put It Down,' I was just like, Yes. You hear the adlibs, you hear the harmonies, but you also hear this new fresh swag on it that I don't think I've had in a while."