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Regarding Frank Ocean, Sexuality and Pop Culture

Like many people, I had discussions today about Frank Ocean coming out of the closet. In one online discussion, someone remarked that “it wasn’t brave” because most people “don’t care” about anyone’s sexuality and that it was not “a Rosa Parks moment”. 

Here’s what I wrote in response. There was more I wanted to say, but I’m going to keep it succint for now. Feel free to engage me more.

"It was brave. How many out-of-the-closet males are there in contemporary hip-hop and R&B? With Frank and Syd both being openly gay I would say that OFWGKTA are now THE most progressive group in hip-hop. I already thought they were artistically anyway.

In liberal communities like you and I live in, of course we don’t care. We understand it doesn’t matter, but it isn’t like that in all communities. Think about religious communities that are conservative. That’s much of the black community in the US - Frank’s main fanbase.

And while it may not be a “Rosa Parks moment” as Ocean is hardly the first openly gay black r&b singer, it’s certainly considerable that he chose to do so just as his major label debut album launches - there’s room to be cynical about that too, but the fact remains that as little as perhaps 10 or 15 years ago it would have almost CERTAINLY had a detrimental effect on sales. People like Luther Vandross and Queen Latifah were never able to come out of the closet because it would have damaged their careers. It’s hardly a secret that Luther was gay and Queen Latifah is, but the general opinion of the time didn’t allow for them be open about it.

There’s some interesting points about artists such as Tracy Chapman and Me’Shell N’Degeocello not being accepted by the black community due them being lesbians. Me’Shell was one of the earliest torchbearers of what became the neosoul movement yet the credit generally gets given to her heterosexual peers - Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, etc. There’s some great points about that here. 

In many ways, the struggle for gay rights and gay equality IS comparable to the civil rights movement. On a Western level, gay people have less rights and are legally treated as lesser beings. On a global level there are still many countries that kill people who are gay. This is most likely going to go down in history as the defining human rights factor and paradigm shift of our generation.

So whether it’s Frank Ocean coming out, Lil B releasing an album called I’m Gay (to show that “words don’t mean anything” without context) or even a show like Glee having openly gay characters in the main cast and storylines that deal with their issues as well as those of the straight characters…… these things weren’t happening on a mainstream level to such a high degree in previous decades.

So you can’t downplay it as not being brave or think that it’s not going to be an issue or talking point for people. That’s not giving the move the credit it deserves. It may not deserve as much discussion as it is warranting, on it’s own….. but it’s indicative of a large-scale and long overdue paradigm shift that frankly should be discussed - and heralded - as much as possible, given the fact that the struggle for equal rights for gay people is something that is ongoing. Just as we look down on the people of the mid-20th century for inhumane treatment of minorities, future generations will look down upon THIS society for continued homophobia and discrimination. It’s a total indictment on humanity as a whole and hopefully within 15-20 years won’t be an issue for anyone.”

6Frank Ocean, pop culture, black culture, african-american, usa, gay, homosexual, homophobia, music, odd future, ofwgkta, wolf gang, golf wang, loiter squad, tyler the creator, agent orange, def jam, soul, pop, R&B, RnB,

I copped the new Odd Future album - ‘The OF Tape Vol 2’, seeing them live for the second time next week :-)

6odd future, ofwgkta, golf wang, wolf gang, Tyler the creator, frank ocean, Hodgy beats, left brain, earl sweatshirt, the internet, syd, taco, domo Genesis, mike g, swag,

#nowplaying Odd Future Tape Vol 2 - it’s awesome. Stand out tracks on first listen are “P”, “Rella”, “Analog 2” and “Oldie”… which features THE RETURN OF EARL SWEATSHIRT!!!! Can’t wait to see Odd Future live in Birmingham on the 28th! It’ll be the second time I’ve seen them live. 

6Odd Future, Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Mike G, The Internet, Syd The Kyd, Wolf Gang, Golf Wang, OFT, OF, OFWGKTA, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All,

Album trailer for “Purple Naked Ladies” by The Internet, which is a group comprised of Syd Tha Kyd, Matt Martians and Left Brain, all from Odd Future/OFWGKTA. Different vibe to OF’s usual style though and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m glad that Syd has stepped out as a vocalist because she’s really good. And she was super chill when I met her :)


6Syd, Syd Tha Kyd, Odd Future, OFWGKTA, The Internet, Purple Naked Ladies, Matt Martians, Left Brain, Wolf Gang, Golf Wang,

Odd Future UK Tour 2012 - now that’s what I’m talking about! SO THERE at the Birmingham show. 

6Odd Future, OFWGKTA, Tyler The Creator, Hodgy Beats, Mellowhype, Left Brain, Syd Tha Kyd, Wolf Gang, Golf Wang, Flog Gnaw, Domo Genesis, Mike G, UK,

Tyler won! “Best New Artist” at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. So proud, he’s shown you don’t have to conform, you can do everything your own way and fuck them if they don’t like it! Congratulations my dude, and let’s hope for many more of them! 

6Tyler The Creator, Tyler, Odd Future, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, Golf Wang, OFWGKTA, Free Earl,

"Yonkers" by Tyler, The Creator (Odd Future) has been nominated for "Video Of The Year" at the MTV VMA’s 2011! Congratz Tyler! OFWGKTA! 


6Tyler the Creator, Tyler, OFWGKTA, Odd Future, Wolf Gang, Golf Wang,

Me and Tyler, The Creator from Odd Future, today in London :)
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Me and Tyler, The Creator from Odd Future, today in London :)

6Tyler, Tyler The Creator, Odd Future, OFWGKTA, Wolf Gang, Golf Wang,

got my ticket to see OFWGKTA!!
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Chris Brown is a fool. Making statements about “Demonic Music”, everybody knows you’re taking subliminal shots at Odd Future cos they’re use the triple six and upside down cross imagery. Then Hodgy calls you out on it and you claim it was a “general statement” and because you didn’t mention Tyler or OFWGKTA by name that makes it OK? When it was CLEARLY obvious who you were talking about? Tyler acted the bigger man and made you look stupid. Keep talking about making positive music this and that… YOUR actions speak louder than your words…. how’s THAT for a subliminal shot? And Benny Benassi gassed you up with a hot beat, but “Beautiful People” coulda been anyone’s song and you know it. 

If you really about positivity, stop taking obvious subliminal hater shots at the hottest crew in the game right now. Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All! 

6Odd Future, OFWGKTA, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Tyler The Creator, Wolf Gang, Tyler, Golf Wang,