On November 8, 2012, in an interview with radio station Power 106 Brown debuted his supposed first single "Nobody's Perfect" of his upcoming sixth album, then under the working title of Carpe Diem, due for release in 2013. The single was never released, and after concluding his Carpe Diem Tour in late 2012, word of Brown's next studio album started to develop. MTV News confirmed development of the album, with Brown collaborating with producers Timbaland, Danja and Diplo.
On March 26, 2013, Chris Brown confirmed the release of X in various interviews and listening sessions. In an interview with Ebony Brown spoke of taking his music in a different direction and changing his sound from pop-infused and sexually explicit, to a more mature, soulful and vulnerable theme for the album. Brown also stated that the album's title 'X' defines everything he's been through in his life, stating:
It's the Roman numeral for 10. 5/5/89 is my birthday: 5 plus 5 is 10, and this is my tenth year since I got into music. 'X' is the 24th letter in the alphabet, and I will turn 24 when this album comes out. 'X' is also a metaphor, as in 'ex-girlfriend': it implies you're progressing and moving on in life, not holding on to the past and your old ways.