“My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown is a New Jack Swing staple, a declaration of independence, and a certified #CultureClassic.
The song was the second single from Brown’s second album, Don’t Be Cruel. It dropped in October of 1989 and was an immediate hit. The record was Brown’s direct response to the criticism he received for his departure from New Edition (which was one of the biggest controversies of the time within The Culture) and the constant rumors and innuendo surrounding his personal life. For Brown, the song was about making decisions in one’s life and not caring about other people’s judgment.
Many could relate to the lyrical content and the music made them dance. It was produced by the creator of New Jack Swing himself Teddy Riley. The song is a merging of hip-hop beats with elements of synth-pop and soul. Along with Riley’s signature triplet swing in the sixteenth note, and that sinister baseline. “My Prerogative” was (and still is) a serious party starter.
The single reached number one in both Billboard‘s Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. “My Prerogative” also reached top ten positions in many countries. It was a certified gold and helped Brown’s album go platinum overall.
The video for the song is also a Culture Classic on its own. It is mostly him and his band performing the song in a pseudo concert setting in front of a large crowd. Brown rocks an iconic music video look consisting of his black jumpsuit and a headset. The setup was a perfect showcase for Brown as it featured his dancing, his charisma, his swag, and just everything that made Brown a true superstar.
The Song almost never came to be. Brown had already completed recording the Don’t Be Cruel album but felt the album was lacking a strong song with an edge. He traveled to New York, got with Teddy Riley and the rest is history.
It was a Guy and Wreckx-n-Effect collab. Teddy Riley did production and songwriting, Aaron Hall co-wrote and provided backup vocals and Markell Riley handled playing the drums and the drum programming for the song.
Thanks for checking out our story on “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown. Check out more of our #CultureClassics!
Written by @TalentedMrford