Not long ago, Brian McKnight, who had been one of the most respected artists in contemporary R&B since his emergence in 1992, placed on YouTube a sexually explicit song titled “If You’re Ready to Learn.” It was a far cry from his soul ballads such as “Back at One,” “Anytime” and “Love of My Life.”
The problem is that even though the controversy stems from a past event, the effects of it linger. Now when Brian McKnight’s name comes up, it brings to mind for many people “that” song — the one with lines such as, “Let me show you how your —– works/Bet you didn’t know that it could squirt.”
When the controversy first erupted, McKnight defended himself, saying the song was meant to be taken as a joke, as well as being something the public would not have expected from him.
“Okay, I’m taking it down and I’ll never do it again,” McKnight declared at the time. “I’m putting up a safe song. Jeez! No sense of humor. It’s sad. I think I just ‘mind effed’ the whole world with this song.”
“If You’re Ready to Learn” was also a surprise considering McKnight religious background. “I’m a fifth generation Seventh-day Adventist,” he said.
Brian McKnight’s latest album, released in March, is titled More Than Words.