Sleepy's Theme

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Organized Noize was the primary architect behind virtually the entire "Hotlanta" sound of the 1990s. As the mainstay of the production group, Pat "Sleepy" Brown (whose father was a member of…
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Organized Noize was the primary architect behind virtually the entire "Hotlanta" sound of the 1990s. As the mainstay of the production group, Pat "Sleepy" Brown (whose father was a member of '70s funk band Brick) could lay claim to being one of the most influential behind-the-boards men in music. Along with fellow multi-instrumentalists Rico Wade and Ray Murray, Brown was responsible for hit singles from TLC ("Waterfalls") and En Vogue ("Don't Let Go (Love)"), arguably the two most influential female R&B groups of the decade, and, on the rap side of the divide, he called the shots in the control booth during the creation of the landmark '90s albums of Goodie Mob and OutKast, who, alongside Organized Noize, are two of the key cogs in the mammoth Dungeon Family collective. It was Brown's somnolent falsetto, in fact, that could be heard oozing from OutKast's premiere hit "Player's Ball" in 1994.

It was no surprise, then, when Brown, Wade, and Murray sought an outlet on the side to record their original music. They first stepped out on their own as three-fifths of Society of Soul, which released a solid 1995 album, Brainchild, that, only partly successfully, attempted to bring the '60s and '70s urban milieu into a '90s context. More successful was their second attempt under the moniker Sleepy's Theme. Released on micro-indie Bang Ii in 1998, The Vinyl Room added a sleek and pimped-out new chapter to the funk and soul storybook that previously had been written by such loose-limbed, mood-driven stalwarts as Isaac Hayes, Barry White, Curtis Mayfield, the Isley Brothers, the Commodores, Earth, Wind & Fire, and the Gap Band. Among the finest soul albums of the year, The Vinyl Room unfortunately was accorded little promotional push, and as a result failed to find much airplay even inside urban markets.