Too Hot: Kool & the Gang & Me

Chicago Review. Jul. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781641609180. $28.99. BIOG
Brown, with the help of Dave Smitherman (coauthor, This Stops Today), talks about his career with Kool & the Gang and his upbringing in this fast-paced memoir. Brown started out as a teenage drummer who provided the backbeat to various bands around his Jersey City, NJ, neighborhood. Brown was mostly a self-taught drummer who took a couple of lessons when he could afford it, but he consistently practiced for hours. Before the age of 20, he met and joined the members of a band that would later call themselves Kool & the Gang. They had a string of R&B and soul hits, and Brown served as one of the group’s main songwriters. They transformed into a mainstream pop group by the late 1970s, attaining stardom and riches beyond Brown’s wildest dreams. While covering much of the same ground as other music memoirs—songwriting, groupies, drug use, clash of egos, and more—Brown’s book is not concerned with airing grievances or showing ill will towards his bandmates. Instead, he focuses on his good fortune and the blessings of his talent.
VERDICT Readers of music memoirs and Kool & the Gang fans will find much to like in Brown’s insightful and upbeat memoir.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing