Many revere R&B legend Bobby Brown as a founding member of New Edition and having a solid solo career as a pioneer of “New Jack Swing.” On the eve of a new documentary about his life, and a cover story over at CassiusLife right now, we felt it was only right to highlight some of his most Hip-Hop moments.
Bobby Brown is rightfully regarded as someone who’s had an iconic career in R&B for decades. The public will get to see the highlights and other aspects of the singer’s life in a new documentary, Biography: Bobby Brown. The two-part documentary will make its debut on the A&E network on May 30. But as much as we know about his impact on R&B, he has to be given credit for his impact on Hip-Hop as well.
Brown’s bravado made him a Hip-Hop favorite, and there’s no denying him rocking the Gumby haircut made it that much more popular. Here are five moments where Bobby Brown put it down for the culture.
1. ”On Our Own”, Ghostbusters II, 1989
Fresh off of the smash success of his second album, Don’t Be Cruel, Bobby Brown was all set to capitalize on it and get some crossover appeal. What better way to do that than to get a part in Ghostbusters II AND have the featured single from the soundtrack? (Admit it, you wouldn’t be able to name other songs off of it without Googling.) While the sequel didn’t meet the lofty heights of the original, Brown’s song produced by L.A. Reid put his brisk rapping on display and spent 20 straight weeks on the U.S. music charts. The video was equally strong, featuring New York City to the fullest along with the stars of the film and a few other notable celebs.
2. “My Prerogative”, The Arsenio Hall Show, 1989
Arsenio Hall was killing it with the debut of his late-night talk show, and it became a place for many artists and celebrities to really open up and be themselves. Brown would be no exception, taking the stage with swagger to perform his hit live for the audience complete with purple suede loafers.
3. Mother Goose Rock N’ Rhyme, 1991
This entry might seem left-field, but it goes to show just how much Bobby Brown had caught on with his unique musical style. The film, produced for the Disney Channel in its early years, features a modern spin on Mother Goose going missing and her son has set out to find her while getting help from various characters including The Three Blind Mice Detective Agency. All of them are played by…Bobby Brown.
4. ”Get Away”, 1991
Bobby Brown had a terrific partnership with Teddy Riley, and the producer worked with him to bring forth that rugged Hip-Hop feel on his self-titled third album. While everyone was enthralled with “Humpin Around” and its rawness, he decided to take it up a notch with this second single, complete with the video featuring him and his dancers decked out in camouflage fatigues throughout.
5. Teyana Taylor X Bobby Brown, 2019
R&B star and actress Teyana Taylor had a great surprise during the “Dear Mama” event on VH1 honoring mothers for Mother’s Day, specifically for Taylor’s mother, Nikki. Knowing that her mother was a serious fan, she introduced Brown on stage who broke into his classic hit “Every Little Step” and joined him, making for a wonderful mash-up moment with that New Jack Swing feel.
Editor’s Note: BONUS
6. Ja Rule f/ Bobby Brown – Thug Lovin
Say what you will, but Bobby Brown hopping out that helicopter was a moment. Debate your Auntie.