BRIAN MCKNIGHT talks with TJMS about releasing “If You’re Ready To Learn” on iTunes today. Last week the video went viral.
As you probably know by now if you’re anywhere near a working Internet connection, crooner Brian McKnight recently released a graphic song about, well, the va-jay-jay, although he used a common but more graphic word for it.
Shockwaves went across the Internet at the release of a song like this from McKnight, a 16-time Grammy nominee better known for his romantic love songs. Outrage spread across Facebook and Twitter with even artists like Eric Benet and Tierra Mari chiming in. A common response – just what was he thinking? Well, maybe he was thinking that in his two-decade career, he wasn’t getting the kind of response that he got by doing one over-the-top song. McKnight quickly became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, did a Skype interview with TMZ and found himself a relevance that he never had when he was doing nothing but love songs. He was even asked to sing the song at the Adult Video News Awards, the “Oscars” of porn, something we don’t yet know if he’s accepted.
McKnight told TMZ.com that he wrote the song because he was “bored” at home while in a boot waiting to have Achilles tendon surgery and that he never intended the song to be serious. He says he asked his 40,000 Twitter followers for ideas and that’s what they came up with. On YouTube, McKnight defended the song again. “It’s funny how we listen and let our kids listen to songs about killing people and selling drugs and calling women bitches…I wrote this song,crude as it may be, about satisfying all women and look what happened…I’m not being defensive, it’s just sad to think that one parody could wipe out 25 years of work.”
Well, Brian, we’re not sure we’re buying that. But on the other hand if you’ve heard the song, you know that McKnight took a hard left thematically given the body of his other work. If R. Kelly or Trey Songz makes a song about sex, no one is surprised, but the graphic nature of the song from a man known for his catalog of yearning ballads was probably a bad move. And the song was just…well…silly. If you’re a grown woman and need a man to show you how your own vajayjay works, well, then you have more problems than can be solved by a song.
But there was one other common theme critics of the song used to dis McKnight. It was that he was too “old” to do a song about sex. Tank, the singer also known for his way with a love song, told a morning radio show that aside from the fact that McKnight was “57 with a Mohawk,” he was like the “old guy at the club trying to holla at a 21-year-old.”
Hold up. While McKnight’s song may indeed be ridiculous, when you consider the amount of graphic songs made by rappers that no one questions anymore, it does seem a little bit hypocritical to criticize him for doing the same thing.
If it’s the fact that it’s McKnight that wrote the song OK, but after 25 years and no Grammys making love songs, maybe a brother just wanted to switch it up for once and see what happened. Maybe after two decades in the business, McKnight saw a canny publicity move that he knew would get folks talking about him.
On the other hand, the idea that a 42-year-old man (Knight’s actual age according to Wikipedia) is too “old” to sing about sex is ludicrous. Hello, Tank and others – grown folks do it, too. In fact, grown folks probably do it better as they know more about their bodies and what makes them respond than they ever did when they were younger.
The idea that you’re “too old” to have a candid and graphic conversation about sex or even a sex life is something only a young person would say.
Maybe they’re just jealous of the fact that once you get a real hold on who you are sexually, you can do a lot more with that knowledge than you ever would as a young person. It’s not the first time I’ve heard people get clowned because they’re past 40 and still interested in sex, but it’s really just dumb. Do some young’uns think that once you get to be a certain age, you’re no longer interested in good sex?
Wrong. And one thing I can say for McKnight, at least he’s brought that conversation to the table. There are grown women who can appreciate a grown man who knows how to “work It” as opposed to showing you how it works.
So I think maybe McKnight needs to head back into the studio and craft a record for a grown woman, not a young girl. Because while they might be in need of a lesson from the obviously experienced crooner, most grown women don’t need any help figuring out how it works. They just need some good lovin’ from a man who already knows.