Robert Barisford Brown was born in Boston Massachusetts and it would be fair to say he was/is a talented entertainer/singer and like most human beings has flaws and is a complex character – so why we feel that he should be any different because he is in the public eye is beyond me. He’s been judged, like most people but after seeing the Bobby Brown story I think he’s been judged quite harshly, I’m not saying he’s perfect at all, I’m saying he’s human.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way let’s talk about Bobby Brown …. oh yes the bad boy of R&B
When New Edition first hit the music scene, those cute little boys whose voices hadn’t quite yet broken touched our hearts with Candy Girl, and even then Bobby stood out. Their voices broke, the ‘advantages’ of being in the music industry presented themselves; touring, women and drink (because they really didn’t earn enough to buy drugs). There was always something about Bobby and he knew it hence a little tension followed by his departure.
Enter The Bobby Brown Story, the Don’t Be Cruel album hit and boy did it hit hard……..the title track, Roni, Rock Witcha and of course My Prerogative the track which I always refer to as his judgement track. But behind closed doors Bobby was carrying a lot of pain, he had witnessed violence and death at a very young age with the stabbing of one of his closest friends, dealing with finances wasn’t his very strong point so his brother managed him and his solo career, he felt obligated to prove to his parents that he could “make it” and eventually looked after them, and he never felt quite good enough in himself. The film displays a very physical scene with Bobby Brown and Janet Jackson, (Janet and her camp have slammed the type of relationship they allegedly had), but if it’s not true….. well make up your own mind. One thing that did stick out from that scene was not just the physical activity but Bobby’s annoyance that they had to keep their union a secret as he was “a dark skinned black brotha, and not a DeBarge, because Janet Jackson can’t be with no dark skinned n****r”. Even back then there was colourism!
The 1989 Soul Train Awards would change his life as that was the event when he and Whitney Houston connected. Two years later they married although Bobby fathered a child whilst with Whitney and although she fell pregnant not long afterwards she unfortunately miscarried on the set of the BodyGuard. Can you imagine the emotional trauma on both sides. By their wedding day she was pregnant again with Bobbi Kristina.
There was never any doubt that the marriage had its ups and downs like all marriages however, it was clear from the biopic that Bobby wasn’t aware of Whitney’s love of cocaine until their honeymoon which was a blow as he was having second thoughts on his wedding day and it was Alicia Etheredge, his current wife, who calmed his nerves.
As Whitney’s career rose, Bobby’s cooled down, his drinking advanced to weed, which advanced to cocaine which advanced to heroine and an eventual overdose resulted in a stroke. He wakes up from his coma and clearly says to Whitney “no more drugs”, she agrees. He cleans up his act in prison, and on release Whitney throws her arms and legs around her man, jumps in the waiting car and offers him some cocaine! Make of that what you will.
It was a very sad marriage, Bobbi Kristina was caught in the middle of drug taking, alcohol, Robyn Crawford, her disapproving grandmother and a lot of media attention, especially during the filming of Being Bobby Brown! In order for both parties to get clean and have peace the parting was inevitable.
The years that followed were tough and would have been tough on anyone; a very public divorce, the attempt to re-build his career, moving state to be with his father who was ill, the unexpected loss of his mother, followed by his father, followed by Whitney and then his daughter. It’s enough to break someone’s spirit into pieces but Bobby credits his current wife Alicia Etheredge for pulling him back together and putting his feet on solid ground. She took him back to God and he’s now spiritually sound, she manages his career, and has given him 3 beautiful children and assisted him in establishing the Bobbi Kristina Serenity House which empowers all communities about the perils of domestic violence.
I felt that The Bobby Brown Story balanced out a number of media hype stories around New Edition, Whitney Houston and Brown himself. There are 3 sides to every story, side A, side B and somewhere in the middle the whole truth.
If you get a chance to see the biopic, parts 1 and 2, you’ll see a different side to Bobby Brown, a softer side, a more human side, not just the bad boy of R’n’B. Woody McClain plays a believable Bobby Brown as he did in the New Edition Story and the other New Edition members made an appearance in this biopic as well i.e., Algee Smith as Ralph Tresvant, Luke James as Johnny Gill, Elijah Kelley as Ricardo “Ricky” Bel and Keith Powers as Ronnie DeVoe.
The 2 parts are just over 3 hours, grab a glass of wine or sparkling water and take it in. It’s eye opening. Did you watch? What were your thoughts? Let’s talk about it on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.