Bobby Sadly Recalled What He Did For Best Friend As He Watched Him Die At Age 11
Bobby Brown is only 49 years old, but if you were to ask him if it feels like he’s lived a life that’s triple that duration of time, he’d probably say ‘yes.’ He’s lived his best life, as a top selling R&B singer, who by the age of 21 was already worth $21 million and counting. He’s lived his worst nightmares after losing one his seven most precious gifts of his life- his daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Prior to his 80’s success with New Edition and his solo career, Bobby experienced what no child should have- the death of his best friend at age 11.
Bobby Details What Happened On Night Of His Childhood Friend’s Death
In 1981, Bobby Brown and his friend, James “Jimbo” Flint, were like two peas in a pod. They did everything together, during their days growing up in Boston, MA’s Orchard Park Housing Project. Their time came to a screeching halt- the day James was murdered when they were just kids.
During a prior interview with People Magazine, the “My Prerogative” hit maker, sadly recalled what went down on that tragic day:
Via People: The city [Roxbury, Boston, MA], [Bobby] Brown says matter-of-factly, “is a racist town.” But the singer downplays minor discord. “We had our hard times. You live to get past them. But,” he adds, “it was rough growing up in the streets and having to fight someone for the stupidest reasons.”
A tragic episode of that stupidity took the life of Brown’s boyhood friend James “Jimbo” Flint,
“We were 11 and we had both just gotten new bikes,” Brown says. “We went to a party. Some guys were on Jimbo’s bike when we came outside. So Jimbo and this guy started fighting. Then a girl just threw the other guy a knife, and the guy sliced him onetime.”…
That’s not all though! Bobby revealed that the initial ‘onetime slicing’ of his friend was not the stab that killed him. In fact, according to People, that particular wound “wasn’t serious” at all. BUT what happened next seemed coincidental, yet still tragic:
Bobby Brown: “A friend of ours kicked the other guy [who was holding the knife] from the back. The knife went in Jimbo, right through his heart. We carried him home and laid him in the hallway. He just lay there looking up at me. I watched his eyes as he died.”
It’s hard to imagine an 11 year old child having to carry his dying 11 year old friend home, only to watch him take his last breathe as they looked at each other one last time. To say Bobby probably experienced post traumatic stress disorder that may have very well followed him into adulthood, is an understatement. In other words, the many problems the world witnessed in Bobby throughout the decades may not be merely by choice. I’m no psychologist, but c’mon now, that’s not a farfetched assumption, given the gravity of the emotional/psychological baggage 11 year Bobby inherited in that very moment.
How Bobby’s Friend’s Passing Birthed New Edition’s Success
James “Jimbo” Flint’s death also lit an intense fire up under Bobby, that propelled him into a high level of greatness in the years to come. Bobby admitted that the day he watched his friend die, “I knew I had to get out of there [Orchard Park Projects] for James, for myself. Or I would die in the projects.”
Just one year later, in 1982, Bobby B. formed New Edition, by recruiting his other homies from Orchard Park projects and they ALL were eventually able to ‘get out of the projects.’ Also, at the height of Bobby’s solo career, he dedicated his 1988 multiplatinum selling album, “Don’t Be Cruel,” to his late friend, James “Jimbo” Flint, which was just seven years after his passing.
Source: People Magazine, April 10, 1989 issue