Article29 Bobby Brown Book Review

In “Every Little Step” Bobby Brown says that Whitney Houston had affairs with both men and women. (Courtesy photo)

There was once a time when Bobby Brown was the biggest name in R&B, an icon headed towards a path of greatness in the late 1980s. But, over the last 25 years, Brown has been in a public downward spiral fueled by a long-standing bout with drug abuse and his turbulent relationship with legendary crooner Whitney Houston.

The ups and downs of Bobby Brown have been chronicled since his adolescent days belting out squeaky high notes with Boston group New Edition. After heavy losses, including his fortunes and the lives of Houston and daughter Bobbi Kristina, Brown is ready to tell his side. Brown’s autobiography “Every Little Step” is an inside look at the life of Bobby Brown as he tells all, from confirming rumors to secrets never before revealed.

“Every Little Step” begins as an ordinary autobiography, traveling down memory lane to Brown’s humble beginnings in the Boston ghetto of Orchard Park. The story quickly takes a turn as he details his chaotic adolescent years, being molested and watching a childhood friend die before his eyes. Brown also realizes his mother is a drug dealer when he attempts to fry chicken with cocaine. The story soon drifts to the early days of New Edition, as Brown reveals his account of what ultimately led him to pursuing a solo career.

Bobby Brown was the king of R&B on the radio after his 1988 debut “Don’t Be Cruel” sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. Brown takes you behind the scenes of the peak of his career. He revels in relaying his sexual escapades as a teen, including affairs with both Madonna and Janet Jackson.

Brown does not stint on the juicy gossip, even in the case of the deceased Houston. According to Brown, Houston had affairs with the late rapper 2Pac, and her best friend Robyn Crawford.

While many perceive Brown as the man responsible for Houston’s demise as well as sinking his own career, he goes above and beyond to put things in perspective. The underlying tone of the book is accountability, and Brown’s growth as a person shows through his owning up to his actions.

Because he has made so many mistakes in the public eye, much of the book is looking back on these moments, and acknowledging what he could have changed and how he has worked to fix the issue. For example, he writes at length about his relationships with his children from previous relationships. While Brown allowed drugs to consume his life, he neglected his responsibilities as a parent. The evolution of Brown the person through the chapters is what makes “Every Little Step” a true page-turner.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book are the excerpts from Brown’s friends, colleagues and even mothers of his children.  From friend and New Edition member Ralph Tresvant’s explanation of Brown’s departure from the group, to Melika Payne’s detailing Brown’s cheating ways. The fact that not all of the excerpts reflect positively on Brown is an interesting twist, and shows that Brown isn’t solely looking for pity.

“Every Little Step” also gives Brown the opportunity to reflect on the changes in his life after the losses of his former wife and daughter. All in all, Brown maintains his integrity, despite being one of the most criticized celebrities of the last three decades.

Brown has something for both the fans and the haters. Brown’s personality and willingness to expose his faults and shortcomings for the sake of understanding are commendable.

For the last 30 years we have heard and seen Brown at his best and worst. “Every Little Step” gives you an inside look at how Bobby Brown the person came to be.