"It's tough being [artist id="3624"]Bobby Brown[/artist]," [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] raps on a remix of [artist id="1111141"]Coldplay's[/artist] "Lost." "To be Bobby then, you have to be Bobby now."
What a life the Boston singer has had. An entertainer since age 11, Brown, now almost 40, brought the 'hood to R&B in the '80s. His greatest work to date, 1988's Don't Be Cruel, was a crossover hit that sold more than 8 million copies. Brown seemed destined to join the ranks of the all-time greats he had idolized as a child, including Michael Jackson and James Brown.
Since rising to the top, Brown has experienced heartbreak (Janet Jackson), love (ex-wife [artist id="1158"]Whitney Houston[/artist] and his children) and trouble with the law. Author Derrick Handspike documents the Brown Bomber in "Bobby Brown: The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But ... ," which hit shelves Tuesday (December 9).
The book, which began with Brown's cooperation but has been published as an unauthorized biography, has been delayed since May. Handspike said that after spending a year with Brown and conducting interviews and co-writing the project, the singer and his camp began "procrastinating" in completing the book. In the spring, the media went crazy after excerpts of Brown's interviews were released. Bobby described a night [artist id="1270"]Usher[/artist] began choking him at a party (Usher was playing, according to Brown, but cutting off his circulation nonetheless) and offered his take on Houston's possible romantic relationship with [artist id="1162899"]Ray J[/artist].
In the book, Brown tells Handspike that Houston initiated their relationship by flirting with him at the Grammys. A romance ensued, and sexual chemistry wasn't a problem. "I've always been known to be a pretty good lover," Brown said shamelessly. "The word on the street is that I'm well-endowed."
With love came confrontation: It's well-documented that Houston called the police on Brown on more than one occasion. "I mean, I'm guilty of getting upset and flying off the handle a little," Brown said of the domestic strife. "I was known to throw a bottle or two at a wall or something. Things that I'd regret, I would be responsible for cleaning up or having the wall repaired. What people fail to realize is that Whitney is no punk. She definitely knows how to handle and defend herself in situations that could have potentially been violent. Some of the stories in the media made me out to be like Ike Turner, when that wasn't my character."
There's also a bit in the book in which Brown said his wife would joke about being more white than black because of her overwhelming support from the mainstream public. "I never understood how she felt like this when she was more 'Negro' than I am," Brown said. "Not African-American, but more 'Negro' than I could ever be. That is one of the reasons why I always loved her so much, because she was so real."
During his marriage to Houston, Brown began to use cocaine. He claims that marijuana was his only drug of choice during his teen New Edition years, but later coke, crack and heroin came into play. He attributes his crooked jaw to a mild stroke from heroin in 2001.
"I had a desk like Scarface's in my room, and I kept [cocaine] piled up on it," Brown told Handspike. "Every time I walked past my desk, I'd make a line of coke from one end to the other. I'd take a straw and snort a line the same way Scarface did it in the movie. You couldn't tell me nothing. I felt like I was Tony Montana! The world was mine! I never had to look for coke; I kept it plentiful. There was times when I went on my binges and would lock myself up in a room for days at a time just getting high."
Brown's manager said he and his client have no comment on the book at this time.
Although Brown has made no announcements about the follow-up to his hit Bravo reality show "Being Bobby Brown," the singer remains active with spot dates across the country. He's scheduled to perform with New Edition members Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant on February 12 in New York.