Before Travis Scott released Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight on Friday, many wondered whether the album's namesake, R&B singer Brian McKnight, would be a featured guest. He's not — but fans looking for the cross-generational collaboration must have been pleased when Scott dropped an Instagram video of the two artists together on Tuesday. In the clip, captioned "Bitch U Broke My Heart," McKnight plays his 1993 hit "One Last Cry," while Scott leans on the white piano next to a bunch of caged birds.
The clip is the latest moment over the last few years where McKnight's upended his image as a love-obsessed crooner to prove he has genuine comedy chops. In 2012, he made a video with Funny Or Die for a raunchy song called "How Your P*ssy Works." Two years later, he appeared on the ESPYs with Drake to perform a song about sidepieces, and he's also guested on Tosh.0 and The Eric Andre Show. On a phone call Tuesday from Los Angeles, Brian McKnight explained that when people come to his shows they often are surprised with how many jokes he tells during his set. "The biggest compliment at my concerts is not how great I sound or how great I played," he said. "But it's when people say, 'Man I really laughed, I didn't realize you were so funny."
McKnight said the Quavo lyric from "Pick Up The Phone" that inspired the album title was first brought to his attention by his 17-year-old stepdaughter and he wasn't quite sure what to think of it. Scott's camp reached out to him about appearing in the video last week and it was shot quickly in L.A. on Friday afternoon after the album's release. They briefly discussed collaborating at some point, but nothing's on the table right now. Read McKnight's full details of the shoot below.
BRIAN MCKNIGHT: You know I wish I had some awesome story to tell you but I don't. I have a 17-year-old stepdaughter and she's in high school, a senior. For a while, since Quavo had said this whole birds in the trap thing with my name in it, I'm trying to figure out what it is because these kids have a whole different way of speaking and interacting and I'm an old man. I have no idea what's going on, but I know that she gets excited every time they play it at the football games, and that whole thing. Cut to Thursday, I get a call from Travis's people saying, 'Hey we want to shoot this video.' Now normally, this isn't something that I would do, but I've been hearing this thing getting hyped up for quite some time. Well, I don't want to be the guy that's like, 'Ahh, the old guy didn't want to do the thing with the young guy,' so I went and showed up and did it. Now we see what's happening today and it's like, who knew? [laughs] I had no idea. When I spoke to Travis — they have these sayings that are making fun of someone, and I said, "I'm not going to be in this video if you're making fun of me." He was like, 'No no no, we're big fans,' so that's cool.
Some guy on my Twitter was like, "Hey, Travis Scott made you famous!" I'm like okay, if that's what it takes for people to realize I was making records before he was born, then it's fine. [My stepdaughter] is still in school and she hasn't seen it yet. I can't wait to hear what the kids at school had to say.