I stumbled upon O’Bryan sometime last year, in one of my annual trawls through the underbelly of the Internet looking for fresh Jheri Curl Music. Born O’Bryan McCoy Burnette II, he cut his teeth in the 1970s Philadelphia soul and disco scene, before a fortuitous meeting with Soul Train creator Don Cornelius resulted in his being signed to Capitol Records. A singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist with an exotic, ethnically ambiguous look, O’Bryan was a shoo-in to be Capitol’s answer to the rising star Prince.
The problem was that O’Bryan took things a little too far. While Prince was blowing up MTV with the low-key erotica of his videos for Purple Rain, O’Bryan was getting banned from MTV for actually showing titties in the video for “Lovelite.” Turns out that embracing a soft-porn aesthetic can make you a star, while literally putting soft porn in your videos will just make you a historical footnote. Still, there are definitely boobs in the video above, so enjoy!
We’ll see you again tomorrow–Spotify and YouTube playlists, as always, are below.
We've featured Slave before for Jheri Curl June, but their 1983 album Bad Enuff is the group at their most activated....