Tony Johnson » Feelin’ Today: Brian McKnight Controversial Song

by Tony Johnson

OMG, All I been hearing recently is about the new song that singer/songwriter Brian McKnight played for his twitter fans. Close your ears all you Virgin saints but he used the “P” word you know the one that rhymes with the deodorant “Tussy” or shall I use the scientific word “Vagina” but you get my drift. 🙂

Wow…Brian McKnight is now the talk of the internet over a subject matter that’s been around since Adam & Eve but he’s catching so much flack over it.
The song is called “If You’re Ready To Learn” so I decided to check it out for myself and when I heard him sing the line “Let me show you how your P—- works”
I laughed so hard that it brought tears to my eyes not because he said the “P” word but it was the way how he delivered it. I mean he didn’t prepare you in advance or anything he just “BAM” said it. I just shook my head in disbelief because I never imagined Brian McKnight making a song using the “P” word but it was very clear the song was just a parody so was I offended by it?

The answer…NO!

Brain McKnight later said in a CNN interview: “If You’re Ready to Learn” is a parody, The song was really for my 40,000 (Twitter) followers, because they’re the ones who have been there with me everyday,” McKnight said. “Those people are the ones who have seen me on the road to know that I have a sense of humor. I try to be as funny as I possibly can. When I put it up, it was really just for those people. Lo and behold, all hell has broken loose. … If I’d known this would’ve happened, I probably wouldn’t have done it, but here we are.”

Actually the song was created out of boredom because he’d been stuck in his house awaiting to get Achilles tendon surgery and had an idea for a mix-tape made just for adults. 

McKnight continued: “I’m having fun, because basically, I have nothing else to do. I’m at home, I have a studio, I’m a professional songwriter, I can write and sing anything, and here’s a little fun to share with you, and look what happened but for anyone who wants this new ‘adult’ tune  “If You’re Ready to Learn”  it will be available next week on I-Tunes.”

Although I’m not a huge Brian McKnight fan but I have always respected him as a songwriter and vocalist and because I used to be a songwriter and musician.
I can perfectly understand on an artist perspective about being creative and trying new ideas that may go against the grain. I remember artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Beyonce etc going through a stage where they felt like they needed to re-invent themselves and by doing so caused some controversy but that all comes with the territory when an artist doesn’t want to be boxed in plus being boxed in limits an artist creativity.

Brian McKnight usage of the “P’ word is rated PG compared to what these new school artists are saying nowadays. I guarantee if Jamie Foxx would have made the EXACT same song nothing would have been said but because it’s Brain McKnight people want to make a big stank about it.

My overall reaction was “GIVE ME A BREAK….People who got offended need to wake up and know that this is 2012 not 1972.”

But on the very next day….My whole outlook had changed!

God put into my spirit that something my pastor would always use in his sermons Others may but YOU cannot” meaning God will not allow you to do the same things in the world as others are doing because of your LIGHT!

By NO means I’m saying that Brian McKnight is a saint compared to Jamie Foxx for that I don’t know either of them personally but through public display and media source Brian McKnight who makes great love songs with his smooth voice and quiet sensual demeanor can make people feel like he’s a straight laced kind of guy unlike Jamie Foxx who is a great actor and singer but is also a foul mouthed comedian who doesn’t bite his tongue. He’s a straight up in your face kind of guy but what separates the two that makes them so different is…CHARACTER!

For Brian McKnight to make a song and use the “P” word is completely out of his character where as if Jamie Foxx would have done the song it wouldn’t surprise anyone because it’s all within his character.

According to the definition of Character: 

1. the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
2. one such feature or trait; characteristic.

3. moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.

4. qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
5. reputation: a stain on one’s character.

So the reason why most people were offended at Brain McKnight were due to #3 & #5.

Could you imagine if Luther Vandross was alive and he came out with a song using the “P” word. People would lose their freaking minds because we ALL know that would be completely out of character simply because we put Luther Vandross in a different light just like we would do the same for Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight or Anita Baker just to name a few. If any of those artists decided to quote unquote “re-invent themselves” because they wanted to be different we would honestly lose so much respect for them because we would feel they lowered their standards trying to fit in to do what everyone else is doing. Once again, “Others may but YOU cannot”  and.I feel Brian McKnight is one of those artists that rule applies to.

Look at R. Kelly & Chris Brown when they first came into the music industry people had the highest respect for them until the child pornography case against R.Kelly and the assault attack on Rihanna by Chris Brown. After those 2 went through the justice system trying to get their lives back together even though they’re back performing and selling out shows as entertainers. People are STILL saying how much respect they lost for them all because of their lack of character.

Unfortunately we live in a very unfair world though we’re not suppose to judge but the truth is that we JUDGE each other everyday based on the content of ones character. So if you’re wondering why you don’t feel you’re not getting the respect that you deserve or why so much negativity seem to be happening more to you than others just be honest & true to yourself. you may come to the realization to say:

“Maybe I do dress and act like a thug”, “Maybe I do carry myself like a whore”, “Maybe I do need an attitude adjustment”, Maybe I am an alcoholic” etc because all of that has a reflection on your character.

When I was a DJ on FM-90 “Body & Soul” show. I was somewhat of a controversial by certain things I would say over the air. Although my intentions were to be entertaining and funny but some of my listeners drew offense to the things I were saying so much to the point that I got suspended on several occasions. I even had to go through the “Powers That Be” in ordered to be re-instated but once I left the “Body and Soul” show and passed the torch to my good friend “Super” Marcus Stiles. He turned around and said things WAY more offensive than I could ever imagined but he never got suspended plus he ended up getting promoted as assistant program director for the “Body And Soul’ show.

Now was that fair? of course not but I guess my listeners seen me in a different light and held me to a higher standard and because of that it actually matured me into being more self conscious to think twice before speaking which indeed improved my characteristics as a DJ.

So when Brain McKnight release this song officially next week. You can rest for sure that all of the naysayers who criticized him about it will probably be the first  to download it because any controversy that deals with sex always sells but as long as he doesn’t publicly performs it. I honestly think people will just charge it to the game and won’t downplay his character plus musically ” If You’re Ready To Learn” is indeed a smooth jam.

Check it out for yourself and feel free to post your comments on how you feel about the issue.

WARNING: Language and subject matter may be considered offensive.

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden

Copyright 2012 – Tony Johnson. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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Feelin' Today, {Music Corner}


  1. avatar Paul says:

    “God put into my spirit that something my pastor would always use in his sermons “Others may but YOU cannot” meaning God will not allow you to do the same things in the world as others are doing because of your LIGHT!”

    Your Pastor should have also mentioned Phillipians 4:8 ” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”.

  2. avatar Tony Johnson says:

    In my opinion…This lady hit hit the nail on the head.
    Enjoy 🙂

  3. avatar Tony Johnson says:

    In my opinion…This lady hit hit the nail on the head.
    Enjoy 🙂