Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quite Frank

Frank Ocean exposed himself in an open letter to fans. In the letter he explained a relationship that he carried on with a guy in LA since he was 19. I never followed Frank Ocean, the only song that I know him for is No Church in the Wild and that was just a hook. Recently, I became aware that he was a member of Odd Future after browsing Tyler the Creator's Wikipedia page. However, Frank Ocean seems to have a legit following, which I assume will get bigger with his revelation. Which is good because I'm sure this will help record sales (Channel Orange was released a week early on iTunes). This revelation came only a day after CNN's Anderson Cooper came out in an email to a friend. It seems that we are living in a time that is no different I think than the renaissance, age of enlightenment or the socially conscious 60's. At the rate that people are disclosing their sexuality, President Obama's supporting of same sex marriage and New York's passage of same sex marriage, its clear that the world is changing. My question is what will that change look like in five years, especially in hip hop and urban America. Will sports figures, actors/actresses and other cultural leaders disclose there sexual preference in an effort to stop child bullying and gain a feeling of personal acceptance? In Manning Marable's biography of Malcolm X, he concluded that Malcolm engaged in a homosexual relationship with an older white businessman when he was a young man. When I read this I refused to believe it and still do to some extent. How could someone say that about Malcolm X. But if he did have that relationship, does that take away from his accomplishments later in life. In hip hop culture, the Mr.Cee situation opened up peoples eyes to the taboo topic of homosexuality in rap music. At first what was shocking became accepted by music fans; there is still the old school at noon and Mr.Cee is still working. For a brief moment the Lil Wayne and Baby kiss had a few people talking, but after Wayne and Baby explained that it was a love like the one shared between father and son, people left it alone and enjoyed the music. The same reaction seems to be happening with Frank Ocean. I think in the urban community, there is not a ubiquitous hatred of gays, but rather a distaste for the practice of being down low and tangentially a disdain for being hit on by a gay man or woman if your not gay yourself (Look them words up if you don't know them. This is hoodintellect). In addition, people seem to do two things when it comes to homosexuality, and that's be silent or make jokes about it. I mean look at all the stuff about Chris Bosh and he hasn't admitted to being anything. Why is it like this, that's above my head, but gradually I think more honest conversations will happen about sexuality in urban America. With this being an election year and coupled with the notable people who have revealed themselves, I'm positive that the conversation will take on a new tone. As for Mr. Ocean I never sought out any of his music, but I don't think his revelation will stop me from becoming a potential fan. Also, I want to see what them first week sales are looking like.

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