Before Brittney, it was Bobby, with his untouchable dance hit “My Prerogative.” Three notable elements of this iconic track are the funky synth bass line melody, the bratty attitude of the vocal delivery, and the bridge, making a already creative groove even more epic. Something about the beats of the past – they were so much louder, and “My Prerogative” is one of the loudest, with deeply reverb gated drums and a brand-new-at-the-time New Jack Swing percussion. Any fan of the music of the 80s will know that New Jack Swing came out because of people like Brown pushing the new sound, in 1988, rather than the 90s where it reached critical mass. Teddy Riley and Jimmy Jam, through Brown and other associates, invented a totally new beat that was raw and urban – in direct competition with Prince’s Minneapolis based new wave funk, or trendy electro freestyle beats that had none of the power that New Jack dished out. Not only can someone hear the difference – they can see it to in the video, with all of the athletic intensity displayed on the stage, and the grooving folks in the audience. Today’s Trap beats, by comparison, just doesn’t move groups like back in this day. The track is about being frustrated with gossip and drama; “Everybody's talkin' all this stuff about me (Now now), why don't they just let me live (Oh oh oh), I don't need permission, make my own decisions (Oh), that's my prerogative.” It also is testosterone fueled, about a player who just wants to keep playing, and feeling that he doesn’t need to apologize for his actions to anyone; “I see nothin' wrong, with spreadin' myself around, sing!” There are some colorful instrumentation that is uniquely different, but sort have creates the same excitement as Morris Day and the Time’s arrangements. It is a melody and percussion that understands the streets, and is made for the streets. Michael Jackson would see and hear the success of this and incorporate this production style into Dangerous just a couple years later – so infectious and hard was it’s beat.
Bobby Brown, Gene Griffin, Bobby Brown, Gene Griffin, Teddy Riley
"My Prerogative" is a song by American singer Bobby Brown from his second studio album Don't Be Cruel (1988). It was released on October 11, 1988 as the second single from the album. After recording sessions for the album were completed, Brown and producer Gene Griffin travelled to New York City, since he felt something was "missing" from the record. "My Prerogative" was written by Brown as a response to the criticism he received for his departure from New Edition. He explained the song was about making decisions in one's life and not caring about other people's judgment. "My Prerogative" is often considered a new jack swing anthem, and contains many elements from Teddy Riley productions due to his involvement as one of the song's session musicians.