Alright…so I know I’m waaaaay late to the game here, but I just took the time to look at the infamous video of Brian McKnight and his YouTube video featuring the lyrics of a song from a forthcoming “Adult Mixtape”. If you haven’t had the chance to view it just yet, take a peek below:
What’d you think? Is it a fresh take on new music by McKnight, or a pathetic stunt for publicity? From what lots of people think, at least in the Social Media sphere, it’s the former. McKnight had lots of his old and now former fans in an uproar over lyrics that, for him, seem pretty suggestive. And lots of people have made their opinion heard loud and clear that they didn’t take kindly to this song or it’s adult theme.
For those that may not know, Brian McKnight has been known for years as a love crooner and an R&B ladies’ man. So what would cause him to take such an unexpected turn? Not quite sure. But after the backlash, McKnight apparently didn’t back down from the material on a video, reportedly saying it was a joke all in good fun. But many ain’t buying it, as even website contributors at TheRoot.com went in on McKnight for his music. Take a listen to the weekly podcast called The Confab on TheRoot.com for more information.
So, for the purposes of this post, I feel the need to ask: what are the implications of McKnight’s stunt in terms of him re-energizing his fan base, gaining new fans with new music, and from a Public Relations perspective? We all know that Brian has been out of the musical spotlight for some time now, at least in the sense of being a performer. Is this something that he did just to get his name circulating again? Was he serious in his assertion that it would be cool to put out material that’s far left of what he’s already done? Has he alienated his fans with his actions?
Personally, I’d have to say that McKnight has done some pretty extensive damage to his brand. I will say that though I’ve been a fan of his music in the past, I wasn’t necessarily offended by the lyrics or the content in McKnight’s new idea for a song. Then again, I’m not really the demographic he’s gone after and catered to for so many years, which is women. So I can see from a woman’s perspective how this would be seen as offensive, especially since love songs like “Anytime”, “Back at One” and “One Last Cry” were so popular with women in the past.
In this industry, it’s all about the dollar. We all know that. And anytime you take a risk like this, you’re bound to take some kind of hit. And from the looks of things, McKnight will be taking that hit head on for a little while. I hate to say it, but he’s done a big disservice to himself and his music, even though more and more people are talking about it every day, and some people would say that no PR is bad PR. But hey, as unpredictable as music fans can be, maybe McKnight will be able to bring out a new album and get great sales without anyone batting an eyelash. Maybe there’s a method to his madness.
Time will tell. Hope it was worth it, Brian.