My prerogative? Breaking down "My Prerogative"

Before we begin, I’d like to mention that I had to browse many different sites in order to find the lyrics that seemed to be most accurately recorded. The site I eventually chose begins thusly:

Check out Bobby Brown My Prerogative lyrics - another terrific addition to the already magnificent Bobby Brown lyrics collection. My Prerogative lyrics are part of the Dance! Ya Know It! album that features an amazing beat and vocals.

Obviously, we came to the right place. “My Prerogative” is originally part of Don’t Be Cruel, by the way, and Dance! Ya Know It! was the remix album. How do I know that, besides owning both albums and listening to them each like a million times? I don’t know. The point is, that album does have one singular amazing beat and also vocals. Let’s go …

Everybody’s talking all this stuff about me
Now why don’t they just let me live
I don’t need permission
Make my own decisions oh
That’s my prerogative

Is there anything more relatable to the average listener than the petulant celebrity anthem, “Why is everybody so concerned with my life?” which eventually morphs into “Why isn’t anybody talking about me anymore?!”? No, there is not. Regardless, let it be stated that Robert F. Brown, Esquire, does not, as opposed to the common man, require permission to make his own decisions. Yesterday, for example, I wanted to wear a blue shirt, but I had to first submit an application to my Aunt Carol.

They say I’m crazy

Who says that? This is ’88. Nobody knows Bobby Brown is crazy yet.

I really don’t care

Not that it matters.

That’s my prerogative

I sense a theme.

They say I’m nasty

“Ewww. Bobby Brown didn’t wash his hands after he came out of the bathroom!” – Average person, 1988

But I don’t give a damn

One day I’d like to create a song detailing how I don’t care about people’s perceptions of me. Sure, creating the song in itself may imply otherwise, but you know what? I don’t give a damn.

Getting girls is how I live

Oh, okay, cool. Your promiscuous lifestyle and the “nasty” way in which you go about it is not open as a topic of discussion. Duly noted. You keep on livin’ life, Bobby Brown. I’ll be over here, minding my own business.

Some ask me questions
Why am I so real

Barbara Walters: (Leans in close, takes dramatic pause.) Bobby, why are you so real?

Bobby Brown: (Wearing leather vest and headset, eating a sandwich, six bikini clad females sitting on his lap.) Pfftt. I don’t know, Babs. Stop asking me questions.

But they don’t understand me

Bobby Brown: People always be asking me questions, but they don’t understand me!

Person: Maybe the questions themselves are an attempt to understand you.

Bobby Brown: Humps female passerby.

I really don’t know the deal
About my brother trying hard to make it right
Not long ago before I win this fight, sing!

I really don’t know the deal about any of these words.

It’s my prerogative
It’s the way that I wanna live (It’s my prerogative)
I can do just what I feel (It’s my prerogative)
Nobody can tell what to do (It’s my prerogative)
Cause what I be doin’
I’m doing for you

Wait, is this a love song? “Getting girls is how I live, baby. It’s all for you.” Or is Bobby Brown subtly implying that his entire persona is only to entertain me, specifically? Darn you, Bobby Brown—YOU ARE TOO COMPLEX!

Don’t get me me wrong
I’m really not souped

This site has it as, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m really not zooped.” I really wish the Internet was big in ’96, because “Don’t get me wrong, I’m really not zooped” would have totally been my senior yearbook quote. Anyway, this is supposed to mean “souped up,” like full of himself, which Bobby Brown is obviously not.

Ego trips is not my thing

Humbleness, thy name is Bobby Brown. Something else that is not Bobby Brown’s thing is grammar.

All these strange relationships
Really gets me down

What the hell is this song about? First he’s talking about wanting to do whatever he wants with no repercussions; now he’s talking about his depression as a result of strange relationships, like, presumably, when a giraffe falls in love with a mailman. I am confused.

I see nothing wrong with spreading myself around

Great news! There is enough Bobby Brown for everyone! So if you all can form a single file line and just wait your turn, that would be great. I hope you’re all prepared though, because this guy is nasty!

Yo Teddy, kick it like this!

Teddy Riley
: Sure thing, Bobby! (Kicks it.)

I can do what I want to do
Me and you
Together, together, together …

So this IS a love song! Bobby, you sly dog! “'Sup, girl. Why don't you come with me so you can watch me do whatever the heck I want to do until I inevitably crash and burn. I suggest you wear your tightest spandex.” This whole song reads like a Tracey Jordan parody skit.

There’s also the angry spoken word part of the end of the song, which has been a source of much debate.

What is this a blizzard* that I can’t have money in my pocket and people not talk about me?

*Blizzard makes no sense, but two things: 1) No other word that matches phonetically makes any sense, and 2) he definitely says “blizzard.” And the more I think about, the more it actually does make sense. When I used to live in New Jersey, snowstorms always made me frustrated that people were judging my free-spending ways. Oh, you bought a snowblower? What are you, a doctor now? Pfft. Get out of my face, poor person.

This world is a trip; I don’t know what’s going on these days

Me neither, Bobby. Me neither.

You got this person over here talking about this person

Sociology 405 term paper: “People Talking About One Another: What’s the Deal?” by Bobby Brown

Hey listen, let me tell you something, this is my prerogative I can do what I want to do

Thesis: “I’m going to do whatever I want anyway, doesn’t matter.”

Grade: F

Notes: Thesis is the entire paper, turned in three weeks late, paper has mayonnaise stains.

I made this money, you didn’t
Right, Ted?

Ted: Right, Bobby. However, maybe we shouldn’t patronize the people we’re targeting to buy the record.

Bobby: Humps female passerby.

We outta here.

U.S.A.! U.S.A.!


Graham Briggs said…