If you can't beat them, I suppose you join them. R&B veteran Brian McKnight has joined the club of raunchy male singers R. Kelly, Chris Brown and Akon, who actually incorporate profanity in their otherwise smooth ballads.
McKnight sparked a buzz online Monday when he posted the song "If You're Ready To Learn" on YouTube. McKnight, who typically writes love songs about winning a woman's affection ("Back At One," "Never Felt This Way" and "Still In Love") decided to try on a new style for a proposed adult mixtape.
WARNING: Sexually Explicit Lyrics
McKnight's fans were shocked to hear him sing the sexually graphic lyrics, "Let me show you how your p---y works since you didn't bring it to me first. I have lots of things to show you, if you're ready to learn."
McKnight said the idea came from real discussions he has had. "There's lots of conversations I've had with men. Lots of conversations I've had with women about other sexual type things that I like to tackle."
When McKnight shared his adult mixtape idea with his 40,000 Twitters followers and asked them for song topic suggestions, most people wanted him to stick to his traditional sound.
Some of his fan base thinks the decision was a bad move. "I didn't' expect this from Brian McKnight," tonysands wrote on YouTube. "R. Kelly and maybe even Tyrese, or someone who is really reaching to make a career for themselves."
tonysands thought a song like "If You're Ready To Learn" was better suited for a private setting.
McKnight received a lot of support on his Twitter timeline. DLong23 called the critics hypocrites. "So NOW ya'll wanna talk about @ItsBMcKnight…… Like ya'll don't listen to that type of music, when he's making real songs ya'll say nada," he wrote.
McKnight even retweeted a female follower who suggested a remix written from a women's point of view and even suggested equally obscene lyrics.
McKnight said the song is finished and will be available next week.
On Tuesday, McKnight told TMZ that the song was not a publicity stunt. He said he made the song because he's been home for a month, suffering from a leg injury. He will be having Achilles tendon surgery in another month.
I'm a big Brian McKnight fan. His 1992, self-titled debut is the first CD I bought my wife when we met that summer. Someone sang his song "Never Felt This Way" at our wedding. So, I'm not sure that I like this new style for him. It is going to take some getting used to. But I am all for artists not allowing themselves to be placed in a box. And in all honestly, Brian didn't get this many people talking about him when he released his album, "Just Me," last year. You probably didn't know he released a new album last year.