After listening to Britney Spears’ remake of the “New Jack Swing” era classic, “My Prerogative,” I was left with only one sentiment- I miss Bobby Brown. Yeah, you read that right, I miss Bobby Brown! Before his fall from grace in the 1990s, before his career became marred with lawsuits over failure to pay child support, constant arrests, and speculations over drug use, he was the “King of R&B” (That’s rhythm and blues, not rocks and blunts, you jokesters).
Believe it or not, the year’s biggest star, R&B sensation Usher has been modeling Bobby Brown for years. From that hint of arrogance in his interviews, the choreography, raunchy stage shows, and unfortunate attempts at becoming an emcee mid-way through a track-Usher’s act has Bobby Brown written all over it. While Usher is an accomplished entertainer in his own right, for me, his tamed version of Bobby’s act just doesn’t compare to the original. The same can be said for Spears’ bland remake. It lacks that certain “oomph” needed to carry such an attitude driven track. Perhaps my problem is bigger than Bobby Brown.
Something is missing from many of today’s stars. In “My Prerogative,” Bobby boasts that he doesn’t give a d—. With Bobby it comes across as sincere. When I hear Britney say it, I have to pause the song just so I can finish laughing. And that’s when it dawned on me what exactly was missing: authenticity.
Many of today’s entertainers exploit their private lives, then like to complain that we, the public, are far too nosey. Or they do something sensational just for the sake of trying to entice us to buy their album. I know, I know, controversy sells – but come on, can people at least be a little more genuine? When Usher suddenly wants to treat the public as if we’re all Catholic priests, it seems gimmicky, and forced. I’m waiting on Britney’s follow up single: “I’m The Baddest Chick Because Jive Told Me So.” At least when Bobby does something wild, or says something completely outrageous, it is because he’s a bit of a loon boon, not because his image makers instructed him on what to say and do to appear “real.”
And this is why I love Bobby. Sure, some of his stage antics may have been dumb moves, but hey, he was bold enough to do them. I doubt that boldness still consumes the industry. Maybe I’m just as crazy as Bobby, but I know one thing is for sure: things are a lot more interesting when you aren’t so image conscious. So, if you see me on the yard with my iPod singing “Roni” (poorly), or doing the running man to “Every Little Step” (shamelessly off beat), don’t question my sanity. Instead, try and console me, I can’t help that as time moves on, I get a little nostalgic for the days when it really was the artists’ prerogative.
Too bad I don’t have Bravo. Someone record the show for me incase I can’t find the show on BitTorrent. I’ve read a couple of reviews, all brutal. Haters.