Bobby Brown hits back against unnamed detractors on “Like Bobby,” his first new song since 2012.
“Like Bobby” starts out sounding like an early 2000s hit from the rapper Mystikal, full of growly energy that morphs to take into account modern pop trends. When Brown rap-sings over a brassy trap beat, he sounds defiant: “Everybody gonna talk about it, talk about it/ And I don’t really give a fuck about it, fuck about it/ ‘Cause in the end I gotta be real like Bobby B.”
To make “Like Bobby,” Brown reconnected with two of the songwriter-producers who helped him become a solo star three decades ago following his departure from New Edition. The first is Babyface, who co-wrote Brown’s breakout single “Don’t Be Cruel” as well as the follow-up hits “Roni” and “Every Little Step.” The second collaborator is Teddy Riley, the King of New Jack Swing, who played keyboards and sang backing vocals on a pair of songs from Brown’s Don’t Be Cruel album, the top-selling LP of 1989.
After the huge success of Don’t Be Cruel, Brown scored another million-seller with 1992’s Bobby. He also returned to New Edition for 1996’s Home Again. After the 1997 solo album Forever, though, Brown did not release a new LP for over a decade.
This month however, a Brown biopic aired on BET. “Like Bobby” was released days after the two-part film’s premiere. The singer is also currently on tour with another New Edition offshoot, Bell Biv Devoe, through the end of October.