[Disclaimer - I have long been a Brian McKnight fan. I will admit that I own the entire BMcK discography. I could write a series of books just from scenes in my life with a Brian soundtrack. Okay? Okay.]
So whilst I was away, the Secret Service got busted over Latin American heauxnanigans because they were too cheap to come up off a fiddy. Romney stopped hiding the fact that he's a bigoted elitist idiot. The NFL Draft was more "we'll just have to see how this all works out" than ever. Deion continued his public (and ill-advised) beef with the next soon-to-be-former Mrs. Sanders. And one of my Neo-Soul heroes, Brian McKnight, done lost his damn mind.
Out of all this foolishness, the only thing I truly care to delve into is B. McK's descent into "oh no he didnt"-ness. For those unaware, Mr. McKnight, noted R&B crooner (self-professed poonhound and "relationship expert") decided to drop a little knowledge in the form of a song. In the preview of an upcoming "adult mixtape" Brian shared with the world a tune he lovingly entitled, "If you're ready to learn" - just a little public service announcement to the ladies who need to be more in tune with how their vijayjays work. Yes ladies - Monsieur McKnight wants to "show you how your p***y works" and even finds a way to add catchy rhymes and dulcet beats.
In the wake of a social media beatdown, Bri-Bri took down the video. But, I'm here to tell Mr. McKnight: I understand, bro. Setting aside the fact that you are not a gynecologist, a sex therapist or even still a sex symbol at this point... I still understand, sir. That struggle to stay relevant, cutting edge, and engaging?
I get it, Mr. McKnight. I get it. Once upon a time, you were the shiznit (that word dates both of us, I know). Time was the mere mention of Brian McKnight and one of his songs had a direct gravitational pull on Vicki's drawers. They fell, they flew, they disappeared. Songs raced up the charts, women fell at his feet, people stopped comparing him to his older brothers from Take 6 and the world of Mr. McKnight was platinum plated.
Something happened, I don't know. I saw something where Brian was a judge for a Miss Apple Bottoms jeans contest and that's when I figured his career and his #CocoaSexy had taken a turn. Sometime after Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda and before Fall 2.0 (which though not his best was at least decent) - something went awry. Was it the divorce, the talk show, the corner turn from dude in hat to cap-daddy? I don't know.
Allow me to share something with BMcK and my readers that people find hard to accept. Time comes when you are not the hottest thing in the room. It's tough not to want to get that spotlight back. Believe me. For all of us women who strutted around daring anyone to hate on our fabulosity, the moment when you walk in a room and not every head turns (or not a single head turns) because someone cuter/younger/skinnier/more vibrant walked in behind you - it's a reality check. The ability to be okay when you don't get twenty head turns but get that one slow smile with the appreciative head nod - grownupness.
I was talking to a male friend of mine the other day who finally turned a corner. He was standing in the hottest club with the hottest girls, drinking the newest premium vodka and felt both detached and exhausted. I laughed because I've been there. I've been up in the club/at the party looking around wondering why I was there.
Not that we don't love a good party, not that it's not important to look your best - but please, please learn when you no longer have to be the life of that party. Please recognize that it's useless to be forty competing with a twenty year old. I was talking to my teenaged niece about this. We were discussing the lyrics of a Pussycat Dolls song (I know but sometimes you have to speak at their level) - "Number One chick when I step up on the scene." I related that the day would come when not only did she not care about being number one, she wouldn't care about the scene either.
There comes a time when the #StaySexyStruggle is real. We get real jobs, find ourselves in long relationships, have kids, gain or lose weight, tangle with family, juggle money problems, battle illness, stare down drama, bounce back from disappointment... it goes on and on. And with each thing, some of that #StaySexy slips away. Look, it's hard to step back into those stilettos when you've been rocking ballet flats. Fellas know that if they get used to sweatpants and t-shirt life, it's hard to put the suit and the dress shoes on. And really it's not even so much the exterior, it's the #StaySexy attitude - a mindset that you are the best that you can be and everybody better love it or leave it alone. Life sometimes erodes that. You have to hold on it. But you gotta learn to #StaySexy in your own lane.
I don't care if you still have the body, a 50-year old woman should never be dressing like her 25-year old daughter on club night. There is an entire set of comedic routines based on that "old dude in the club" steez for a reason. Does anyone remember the discomfort when Justin Bieber and Usher did a song/dance routine at one of those reward shows about a year back? Watching the two of them - Usher looked liked a creepy older slower uncle. And Ush still has some sexy left in him, just not while standing next to a teenager. Like Madonna at the Superbowl? Madonna still has some hotness but the lazy gyrating next to people who weren't born when her first album dropped did not reflect well on her. Diddy Dirty Money? He looked dirty alright. Shall I go on?
Okay, on the flip - who watched last week's Grey's Anatomy? If you missed it, Chief Webber (James Pickens Jr) finally got his groove back (yes, I'm dating myself - stay with me) by having some super steamy grown folk time with Mama Avery (played by the still vibrant Debbie Allen). Now that's what I'm talking about. Grown folks don't talk about it, they be about it.
Bri-Mac: What we do here, stays here man! (it does not go instructional on YouTube to piano accompaniment) C'mon - that's like a grown and sexy anthem! But this right here? The crooning about ladyparts and how they work might be sexy if you were still 22 (I so very much doubt it but let's move on) - but at 40+ it just comes across as a desperate attention-seeking stunt from that old guy at the club. Don't be that guy. (And for the record, yes - I called out Trey Songz when he thought he invented sex too) And in the meantime, #StaySexy, my friends.
Who understands what I'm talking about with this #StaySexyStruggle? Can I get a witness? What the hell was Brian thinking? Thoughts, comments, insights?