Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where is Al B. Sure!?

Back in the late 80’s, a soulbrother was kicking it with this fine young thing out of South Memphis. I thought for sure she was the one, but suddenly she began to exhibit some very peculiar behavior. Al B. Sure!’s album In Effect Mode had dropped around the same time, and every time a cut from the album came on the radio, she would begin to squirm in her seat and make these almost obscene guttural noises. At first I thought it was cute, but after about the one hundredth episode, the shit just began to annoy me. When at a family function someone played an Al B. Sure! cut and she broke out in some crazy erotic dance in the middle of the room while everyone just stood by with their mouths hanging open, I knew right then the relationship was not going make it.

Well, I looked up from my labors in the vineyard this past week only to discover Al B. Sure!, government name Albert J. Brown, III, was missing from the village. And as always, I set out to find him.

Discovered and endorsed by music legend Quincey Jones in 1987, Al B. Sure!’s career was off to an auspicious start when he landed on the scene. His first album and the album of which I speak, In Effect Mode, earned him numerous Grammy, American Music Award (AMA), and Soul Train Award nominations. In the end, he walked away with an AMA for Best New R&B Artist and a Soul Train Award for Best New Artist. His second release, Private Times…and the Whole 9!, did well but seemingly not as well as the first, and afterward, he all but dropped out of the public eye for reasons I cannot uncover.

Though out of the spotlight, Al B. Sure! was still very much in the game. Among his many post singing career ventures, he discovered and nurtured several new artists to include Jodeci, Tevin Campbell, Faith Evans, Case, and Usher. He also filled his time writing and producing for several well-known artists, namely Al Green, Diana Ross, Barry White, and David Bowie. He even dabbled a bit in television production; he served as co-executive producer of Jamie Foxx’s HBO Comedy Special. In addition, he appeared on MTV’s Rock the Cradle in support of his son’s, Lil’ B. Sure, recording career and narrated TV-One’s special series UnSung which shines the spotlight on R&B and gospel singers who for whatever reason never got their just reward or credit.

Most recently he has remained gainfully employed as a DJ with Los Angeles radio station HOT 92.3 (KHHT). However, that gig recently ended with the Clear Channel Communications purging of April 28, 2009.

It was almost serendipitous that he came to mind. Al B. Sure! has an new album on the Hidden Beach label, home to Jill Scott, Kindred the Family Soul, and The Tony Rich Project among others, entitled Honey I'm Home due to drop sometime in late May or early June of 2009. An album preview can be found on his web site.

And as a side note, though Al B. Sure! has kept himself busy with music, he seems to have dropped the ball on the homefront. His oldest son, Quincy Brown aka iQ, whose mother coincidently is Kimberly Porter (You know, Diddy’s baby momma), recently sent an open letter to Diddy thanking and praising him for acting as a father figure in the absence of his own father. Is Al B. Sure! a deadbeat dad?

Anyway, a recent interview clip is embedded below.

Al B. Sure Unplugged from D210 TV on Vimeo.

Also, Al B. Sure is scheduled to be interviewed by music legend Stevie Wonder on 102.3 KJLH on Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 7:30 Pacific Time (Hey, that’s tonight!). If you miss the interview, you can hear it after that time at


Lesli D.Corbin said...

I was wondering what happened to him...only brother I've ever known to make a uni-brow look sexy.

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