Veteran R&B star Brian McKnight, best known for tender love songs like “Back at One” and “Anytime,” is raising eyebrows with an explicit new song he previewed in a viral video posted on Monday (Apr. 23). The clip finds McKnight in the recording studio, offering a taste of a new “adult mixtape” with the filthy jam “If You’re Ready To Learn.”
In the clip, McKnight plays both a stripped-down and produced version of “If You’re Ready To Learn,” which operates in the same soulful style as his standard fare but contains choice lines like, “Let me show you your your p—y works/Since you didn’t bring it to me first.” “Most people only want to hear me do one kind of song,” McKnight tells the camera to introduce the track, “but there’s been lots of conversations I’ve had with men, lots of conversations I’ve had with women, just about other ‘sexual type things’ that I’d like to tackle.”
By late Monday night, “Brian McKnight” was trending worldwide on Twitter, but by early Tuesday morning, apparently due to negative backlash, McKnight removed the viral clip. “okay im taking it down and ill never do it again im putting up a safe song jeez no sense of humor but i trended for a little while,” he wrote on Twitter. Later, he added, “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.”
McKnight has dabbled in explicit R&B before, on songs like Juvenile’s “Addicted” and Ill Al Skratch’s “I’ll Take Her,” but the “adult mixtape” is an admitted change of pace, if it ever sees a release. “Just Me,” McKnight’s most recent album, has sold just 47,000 copies since its July 2011 release, compared to 2.4 million copies sold of 1999’s “Back at One,” according to Nielsen SoundScan.