If folks don't know the name Sleepy Brown, they'll recognize that sweet voice. Since the mid-'90s, Brown has been one of urban music's most in-demand collaborators, lending his talent to Jay-Z, among others. But most people will know him from Brown's chorus on Outkast's chart-topping 'The Way You Move.' Now Brown has stepped to the forefront with his long-overdue solo debut, 'Mr. Brown.'

As a consummate professional, Brown isn't taking time to revel in the release, he tells AOL Music: "I'm happy, don't get me wrong, but I'm just really focused to go on, 'cause I feel like I'm in the race now."

With the shoe now on the other foot, what did Brown look for in the people he worked with? "Just people that I'm friends with and fans of, just the guys that I like," the soft-spoken Brown says. He prefers to let his music do the talking. One thing the music suggests is that the singer is an old-school throwback.

"I'm a big fan of Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green," he says. "So when you hear my stuff, you'll definitely hear their influence."