Back in 2008, Paul McDonald hadn’t even dreamed of auditioning for “American Idol” and probably had no idea who Nikki Reed was . Instead, he was on tour with his band, the Grand Magnolias, and, on a rare off day, decided to roll into Atlanta to see his manager.
Little did he know that infamy awaited.
See, on that day, McDonald and his bandmates unwittingly appeared in a rap video for KC Jockey, an artist under the tutelage of Akon. Sadly, much like the video itself, McDonald’s rather amazing cameos (he smiled a lot even back then) went unnoticed — until the singer began making waves on “Idol,” at which point Jockey’s “Rub Your Body” clip quickly made waves across the show’s many fan sites.
It is, to be quite honest, one of the most inexplicable things you’ll ever see (McDonald makes his first appearance as a background dancer around the 2:20 mark). And so, when he stopped by the MTV Newsroom last week, we had to ask the beaming crooner just how the rather amazing bit of music history came to be.
“This was a rap video that I stumbled into,” he laughed on MTV News’ “Idol Party Live,” which streams live Thursdays at noon on MTV.com. “Back in the day, my manager lived in Atlanta, and we were going to a Raconteurs concert at the Tabernacle, and he lives in this big complex where a bunch of rappers … lived, and we walked in there and they were like, ‘Hey, Akon is filming a video in the penthouse upstairs, you guys should go up and say “what’s up!,” ‘ because he knew we were in a band.
“And as soon as we went up, everyone was partying, and they’re like, ‘Guys, come in here! Get in the video!’ So I got in there and, yes, I made my rap-video debut,” he continued. “I thought it was an Akon video the whole time. It ended up being KC Jockey ‘Rub Your Body.’ ”
But rather than be embarrassed by his cameo — and, with the dancing he displays, he probably should be — McDonald has come to embrace his brief dalliance into the world of hip-hop. As he put it, it may pay dividends down the road.
“It’s my rap-video debut,” he smiled. “I got some street cred.”
Don’t miss “Idol Party Live” every Thursday at noon on MTV.com for analysis, celebrity guests and even some karaoke — get in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #idolparty! In the meantime, get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.