WATCH: (Kinda Sorta) Bisexual Music Video – Metrell Hurst “I Can Do Better”

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Jan 31 2014 | 23 Comments  

Metrell_Damien_Crawford_-_I_Can_Do_Better-1

Openly gay R&B Singers Metrell Hurst and Damien Crawford just dropped a music video for their collaboration single, “I Can Do Better.”

For those unfamiliar, Damien Crawford is a singer/songwriter featured on episodes of the Best Gay Web Series of 2013, No Shade, and the very attractive Metrell is a former everything: Former military soldier, former gay porn performer (2 or 3 scenes does not make one a “porn star”) and former host of Derrick L. Brigg’s ADTV. Now he’s focusing his time on his music career.

We rarely ever get a chance to share R&B music on Cypher Avenue so I was looking forward to seeing this video once we saw it in our inbox. The video surprisingly features the two Out black gay men, not intimate with each other or singing to any men at all.

Not only are the lyrics to the song very clearly “Hetero”, the duo appears in the video mutually sexing up a woman in what could be vaguely described as a bisexual encounter…but even then, maybe not…the men never really ever touch each other.

Metrell_Damien_Crawford_-_I_Can_Do_Better

Why is this a big deal? It’s not. Well, maybe not.

First off, I guess it’s a weird visual to see the openly gay men singing, “I Can Do Better” while sexing up a woman. They even use the female pronouns…So…Are they subliminally saying they can do better than being gay to their predominantly gay fan base?

Secondly, its clear this move is just for the comfort level of the hypothetical heterosexual audience given that a R&B music video featuring two black gay men sexing up other dudes would just be fodder for MediaTakeOut, Bossip and WorldStarHipHop. So does that make this a coward move or a wise business decision?

You know what, I’m reading too much into this. Slow news day. Just watch the video and give us your thoughts below.

The men look clean and I like the quality production of the song and video…but it feels a little too old school and “90’s New Jack Swing” to me. Like I could imagine Aaron Hall and Teddy Riley cooking this thing up. It doesn’t really feel like a “modern” R&B song that I’d hear on the radio today.

I know, I know…They’re black and gay so I’m SUPPOSED to support it no matter what my opinion REALLY is…Don’t get me wrong, they’re on to something…but they can do better.

 

 

About the Author
Nick Delmacy

Nick is a founder, editor and the pop culture expert at Cypher Avenue. Serving as the designer and webmaster of the site, he is the architect of The Cypher Avenue Matrix.

   
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23 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. RellyRell | January 31st, 2014
    +1

    Honestly it took me longer to type this than listen to the song as I only listened to half of it before I cut it off. You know how you can listen to some songs and they sound timeless and then you can listen to other songs and reasonably guess when it came out? I would have guessed wrong on this one, it definitely gave me a 90’s vibe but in the wrong way; the song/production felt old like it should have been released back then.

    Not all music videos tell the story of the song it’s meant to represent, this holds true with both gay and straight artists, so while it would be easy to dismiss this as gay boys trying to be straight for a larger appeal to a hetero audience it may just be part of their “vision.”

    There are plenty… Ok well maybe not “plenty” but there are a lot of heterosexual men that portray themselves as gay when they aren’t so I want to give gay men the chance to “be straight” when it comes to their artistic expression.

    Either way they can’t really win in this situation because if the video were gay they would, like you said, be dragged all over World Star, BGC and whatever the hell else for throwing their gayness in everyone’s face.

  2. Skyy | January 31st, 2014
    +1

    I like the song. I like the old 90’s feel. I DON’T like seeing to gay (bisexual *side-eye*) men in bed fondling a woman. I found it somewhat disturbing.

  3. TheDarkness
    TheDarkness | January 31st, 2014
    0

    Hmmmm… Slow news day, indeed. Nick you said, “……but it feels a little too old school and “90′s New Jack Swing” to me. Like I could imagine Aaron Hall and Teddy Riley cooking this thing up. It doesn’t really feel like a “modern” R&B song that I’d hear on the radio today.”

    And I couldn’t agree with you more.

    But check it, what exactly does modern R&B sound like? I’m seriously clueless? Usher, Chris Brown, Neyo–all them dudes have been recording lately is that Euro/EDM Pop charts muzik crap that passes for R&B. Off the top of my head, Anthony Hamilton is the only guy I can think of still doing R&B. Maybe R. Kelly–but his muzik is a different case altogether. Not a sermon–just a thought.

    And as for this vid right here? The song is aiight, I guess. Hopefully the visuals won’t disenchant their SGL audience. (Although if Skyy’s comments below are any indication, just might be too late for that.)

    • Nick Delmacy | January 31st, 2014
      +1

      There’s a lot of Usher, John Legend, Trey Songz and Neyo tracks that are not pop and very Much R&B…Not to mention some of the new bucks like Luke James and Frank Ocean.

      • TheDarkness
        TheDarkness | January 31st, 2014
        0

        Hey Nick–The operative word in my response was “LATELY.” The most recent hits by Chris Brown, Neyo and Usher have all been that Ibiza-inspired, Euro-Pop, EDM (electronic dance muzik) sh*t. Yes, they have each recorded plenty of R&B in their respective past discogaphies. But that ain’t what their doing right now. I will give you John Legend, however. His current ballad leans Pop, but could be considered mild R&B. And Trey Songz has just plain fallen off.

        The point I was trying to make is, our most popular R&B artists–for the most part–are not really recording R&B right now. They seem to be aiming for a much larger, cross-over Pop audience at the moment. Is that good or bad? Who knows? It just, is….

        • Nick Delmacy | February 1st, 2014
          0

          I tried hard not to respond to this because I DO understand the overall point that you are making but I disagree that R&B is all Techno Pop nowadays. You def have not been paying attention, even in the last 12 months. Here are just a few recent examples of dope R&B music that were hits with heavy radio/club play in 2013 that all sound modern and not dated from the 90’s:

          John Legend: “All of Me”
          August Alsina: “I Love This Shit”
          TGT: “Sex Never Felt better”
          Jason Derulo: “Talk Dirty”
          Chris Brown: “Love More”
          Chris Brown: “It Won’t Stop”
          Trey Songz: “Na-NA”
          The Weeknd: “Live For”
          Miguel: “How Many Drinks”
          The Dream: “IV Play”

          The list goes on…I didn’t even mention Daley, Robin Thicke, The Weeknd, Luke James, Robert Glasper, Bilal, or dudes like Drake making dope R&B music (even though he really can’t sing). Metrell and Damien Crawford need to get a Delorean and get Back to the Future.

          • TheDarkness
            TheDarkness | February 1st, 2014
            0

            Wow! A lot of this stuff didn’t even get played on black stations here in “The DMV.” But cats like Luke James, Robin Thicke and Drake did. (Though I question the “R&B designations” for acts like Bilal, Robert Glasper and Drake.) I will concede that you’ve cited enough examples that I’m aware of to substantiate your point. I appreciate your putting in the work.

            Well played, Sir!

  4. jamaicanbiglove | January 31st, 2014
    0

    the headline for this story had mi bursting out in laughter. You through shade but its funny and i see why you did that. Like you, it also gave me pause when I watched the making on the video online and I there was a girl in the video and these gay men who proclaiming who can give to her much better. I too think it could be just marketing or a business more ( or even creative licence). I like the song and the video is good.

  5. PAPIMARCOVIBE | January 31st, 2014
    0

    I guess music business being as it is, the vision of the music video has to conform to who is more likely to purchase the music then not, it is like the line of change from little Richard with pancake make up who does not appear as a threat to the average guy to prince who is short and not the most masculine guy then you go to can a masculine guy be in actual sexual tension to another guy ( this cause real fear because it crosses a line in the sand that says all gay men are sissified, which is not true) but that image of two guys being in sexual tension can be unnerving to straight people because that would say the guy next door buff and coco could be gay. now if you were a concert promoter that will not fill seats, not even at a gay pride function. gay prides will pay for a washed up disco diva or dance music gurl 1st and that is just real. very hard choice have to be made and sometimes american artist have to go overseas to get accepted abroad before here, you may hate milley cyrus but she is on point about getting media attention and that translates into ticket sales and music sales, the real question is america ready for a maculine gay vocalist that is not trying to make women swoon but knows who he is and can present his case via song where hetrosexuals can relate?

    • Nick Delmacy | January 31st, 2014
      +1

      Yeah it’s a tough decision to make indeed. The problem is the lead singer has done porn in the past and hosted a gay web talk show. Not saying that as a negative, just saying that its very easy for a hetero audience to Google and find that stuff out. So why do the straight guy act at all? It just opens up the door for criticism like the debate we’re having now.

      I’m not saying they should have been sexing a dude, maybe just not sexing anyone at all. They could have done the Frank Ocean thing and just hired actors to portray the heterosexual sex scenes as they sang off in another location.

  6. bpaisle
    Byron P. | January 31st, 2014
    +1

    I am usually a fan of 90s R&B but I was not really a fan of the this song. The actual video looks good visually but the concept was a little off. I could not even watch the whole thing. I think that the whole two gay guys and a woman is kind of weird. Even if I did not know before hand that they were gay, I still would have thought that two “straight” guys sharing the same woman in a music video was weird.

  7. NextLifetime
    nextlifetime | January 31st, 2014
    0

    To me this would be the “homo” version of Same Girl with R. Kelly and Usher lol with a different premise but you catch my drift I hope haha. I heard the song a couple months ago I liked it and still do, but I’m not crazy about the video. However I still have to give props to Damien and Metrell for doing their thing.

  8. Dean | January 31st, 2014
    +1

    The fact that they are both gay and are playing straight is of no moment. In fact, this may be why Queen Latifa won’t declare that she’s a lesbian. If she did, she can kiss goodbye all the roles that she can play as a straight girlfriend, wife and mother. Fellas, it’s show business. She does just about everything else to make/allow it to be know that she’s a lesbian except declare “I’m here. I’m queer. Get used to it.” And she gets such roles. If she declares, such roles may dry up. And the music industry is part of show business.

    To those who don’t like gay guys “romancing” a woman on video, would you restrict them to playing only gay roles. There aren’t enough gay roles to go around. And would you restrict black actors to playing only roles that are written for blacks. There are enough such roles to go around.

    I applaud them in there business sense for going after a broad audience. Tyler Perry just doesn’t write “black and gay” although it’s recognized that he is “black and gay”.

    • Nick Delmacy | January 31st, 2014
      +1

      You make some very valid points…HOWEVER you used examples of two people who are NOT confirmed gays. Queen Latifah and Tyler Perry don’t have gay porn videos of themselves on the Internet. They have not “come out” as gay…These men in this music video have.

      Regardless, we posted the video on our site so we’re still supporting them, that doesn’t mean that we can’t have an opinion about it or how odd it comes across.

      Thanks for adding your feedback!

      • Dante | October 12th, 2015
        0

        Nick, I SOOOOOOOOOO late with this response. But I agree with you. I know what they were trying to do. And being that it’s now 2015, we all know that this song and efforts didn’t work. However, I agree that they could have taken a different approach to it. It was too much of an extra effort to copycat what heterosexual R&B singers do just to try to win over the song. I see the same thing with Fly Young Red, too with the Throw That Boy P**** video. He’s a great MC and has talent. However, trying to use the same template that heterosexual rappers use with rap videos and songs really wasn’t worth it. There’s nothing wrong with standing out and being unique.

  9. African King | January 31st, 2014
    0

    They guys actually have a potential hit song on their hands. I think the turning back to the 90s is smart because that is really what is hot right now. Everyone in R&B keeps talking about how the genre as a whole is suffering or how “R&B is dead.” The 90s was without a doubt the best era in R&B and it just felt so damn good. It wasn’t all about just sex, the club, drinks, clothes, etc and all these males trying to be R&B thugs. Not that I have a problem with how artists do their image but I like to see variety in sounds, image, etc just as the 90s provided. I loved the 90s when people just sang about good lovin’. I actually think that if Metrell & Damien Crawford can keep heading in this direction but still add more of a modern twist like you said @nick then they will be well on their way to having a successful career as an openly gay R&B artist.

  10. ControlledXaos
    Black Pegasus | January 31st, 2014
    0

    The overall tempo took me back to groups like “Jagged Edge, Ideal and 112”. But this song in particular was lazily produced (lyrically speaking). The chorus line got stale after hearing it once or twice. And why in the hell were they dancing in the hallway for 70 percent of the video..?

    On the positive side; the song itself wasn’t all that bad. The guys can actually sing (it seems), and the visual quality was pretty top notch. And lastly, I’m glad that auto tune shit wasn’t used. No comment on the “bi-homo-sexuality” concerns 🙂

  11. RolandG
    rolandgarros28 | February 1st, 2014
    +1

    Ain’t no young good-looking black man gonna make it as a successful R&B singer today simply because there is no market for it, especially if he’s open about his sexuality. I couldn’t figure out how artists such as Luther and Freddie Jackson, that were allegedly gay(yeah) could still make good R&B music and be accepted by straight women and men. That is until I realized that all of my aunts had no idea about the rumors(yep). Older people don’t follow that stuff as much as young people who google everything to find out every minute detail about their favorite artists. These artists kept their private lives private, thus they were able to sing to women without the raised eyebrows. For Metrell and Damien to successfully pull this off, there would have to be a lot of willing suspension of disbelief.

    Nick is right about metrell also. That porn video, or two, of his has killed any chance at willing suspension of disbelief. No woman is going to believe he believes they are the most beautiful thing in the world, ergo they ain’t buying what he’s selling. Men ain’t buying this shit period. It’s all for the gays.

    • TheDarkness
      TheDarkness | February 1st, 2014
      +1

      I once had a conversation with my Moms during one of her “wine-sippin’, Luther muzik-playin'” marathons one evening. She would intermittedly start testifying when Luther sang a line or hit a note that resonated with her. Me knowing of Luther’s orientation and not sure if she did, I kinda declared softly to her, “…You knew Luther was gay, right Mom?” She was like, “Yeah. And?” And I was like, “…so, you feelin’ the songs of a gay man, like that???” And she was like, “That man can sing the phone book to me and make it sound sexy. He can SING, son! And he touches me, deeply.” And I said, “He ain’t exactly the sexy soul singer type you go for like Teddy or Sam Cooke?” And she said, “Boy, I answered your question. Now will you shut the Hell up, ’cause you are seriously killin’ my vibe!” And that was a direct quote!

      I say all that to say this–at least to one older, straight black woman–with Luther, it wasn’t about the fantasy or the videos, or whether we’re talkin’ bout “fat Luther vs. slim Luther”. It was about how his art touched her soul. She didn’t care whether he was handsome or sexy or straight or gay. His art “…touched her deeply.”

      So @rolandgarros28, perhaps older, straight folks did know what was up with Luther and Freddie. Maybe they just didn’t give a Damn, ’cause those dudes could really and truly, SING!

  12. Cyrus-Brooks
    Cyrus Brooks | February 1st, 2014
    0

    I can understand why Metrell and Damien would try to play it str8. The R&B world definitely ain’t ready for openly gay male artists. Lesbians maybe but definitely not gay men. It’s too threatening.

  13. SB3000 | February 1st, 2014
    +3

    Well…….in all honesty, I look at the pronoun and all of that as a pure attempt at easier airplay. Audiences are way more comfortable with the blah, blah, and blah…And videos are about acting..I get it…

    However, something just doesnt compute when it’s 2 openly gay men, who are not only open in their personal lives, but gay all over youtube, talking about what they did to ‘her’.

  14. INPAQ | February 1st, 2014
    +6

    Beyond the quality visuals and solid vocals, the production still comes off as another generic joke.

    Filmmakers, singers and simply artist in general within our community, have to do better in expressing their creativity (without boxing themselves in such overused cliche concepts). There is far more to being an artist (straight gay, male or female,), than following the uninspired path of fake facades. You can have the looks, the voice and all the bitches, but if you lack creativity.. you’re just another industry puppet. And maybe that is the extent of both Damien and Matrell. Maybe these two only strive to become another cliche, another gimmick, another stereotype that’s constrained by the limitations of the system. Although if that the case, they will never have the creative freedom in controlling their careers or identities within this industry.

  15. honestblackman06 | December 14th, 2014
    +1

    Ok so i’m like half a dam year late, but I can say that the premise has been duplicated, but the vocals give me the music that i need to remember the 90s New Jack Swing era. Besides I think Metrell can sing a bit better than “DC”. I am glad that the fellas are making music and representing homos everywhere even if we don’t agree with their mode of exposure. It is what it is and at least I haven’t heard a bunch of hoes, bitches, bands, anacondas, etc….. coming from them. Kudos gentlemen.




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