Monday Ramble #62: 8 Reasons You Should & Shouldn’t Listen To Frank OceanPosted: July 9, 2012
Monday ramble #62: 8 Reasons Why You Should And Shouldn’t Listen To Frank Ocean
For those of you that don’t know or care, I am a fan of Frank Ocean. Frank Ocean is an R&B singer down with Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All and he is currently signed to Def Jam with an album dropping on July 17th entitled Channel Orange. He recently revealed the fact that he is indeed bisexual or gay or whatever. Some of you are wondering what this means, how will this affect his sales, the urban music world, and the youth of today. Well I don’t have the answer. But I do have some reasons why you should keep listening to the dude. And I threw in some reasons why you shouldn’t. Read on.
1. Publicity Stunt?
How many times have we heard about artists and celebrities coming up with schemes and plans to get notoriety right before album releases? Fifty beefed with Kanye, Jay-Z stabbed Un, R. Kelly urinated on…well maybe that one wasn’t planned but you know what I mean.
These things happen. Marketing people and strategic industry minds come up with ways to get folks talking so they can make a purchase. And this is well scripted to spark intrigue by saying that song lyrics during an album preview alluded to the fact that Frank used male pronouns.
Then he comes out literally saying that he spent the summer with a dude when he was 19. Who was the dude? Was it his grandpa he sang about? His Uncle Jethro? Could be a scam ladies and gentlemen. So keep on listening to Frank.
2. He’s Not Related To Billy Ocean
If you hate Billy Ocean and his Caribbean queen song or his beard or his overall essence, then you should still be a fan of Francis.
3. Tyler Praised Him
Tyler the Creator, the lead member of Odd Future is a known hatemonger. He doesn’t like men that like men and has been attacked by organizations for it. Even Tyler himself has given his partner his blessing. That’s like a Klan leader seeing his second lieutenant marry a Negro and showing up at the wedding and making a toast.
Well not really but if Tyler can sweep his anti-gay emotions under a rug then you can too.
4. Courageous Come Out
Coming out is not something many singers, actors, or rappers do. We all had to pretend that Freddie Jackson and Luther Van Dross were singing to women. I mean how crazy would it be if any time you hear “If this world were mine” or “Turn this house into a home” you had to envision Luther crooning to Brian or Ronald or someone. They didn’t have the balls…pause.
We wondered about some of the most androgynous guys ever when we listened to MJ and Prince. Hell the latter went as far to change his name into a male/female combination symbol and we just ignored it like the symbol wasn’t a sign. Prince wore jeans with the ass out, fancy, puffy blouses, eye shadow, and hit notes as high as Mariah but we let all that go. But Mr. Ocean jumped out of the closet and he should be rewarded. Right?
5. Industry Cosigns
Celebrities are coming out of the woodworks. What the hell are woodworks? Either way, they are coming out of them to embrace Frank’s announcement. Everyone that ever heard of the kid was making a decision about how they feel. But the famous folks were supportive. Beyonce, Russell Simmons, Stephen Hill, 50 Cent all had kind words about Ocean’s decision to reveal his sexuality.
And other celebs that may want to let out their own secrets one day gave a cyber hi-five as well. People like DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba, the yellow Telletubby, Raz B, Eddie Murphy, the guy that was in the car with that Hot 97 DJ, Ja Rule’s stylist, Chris Stokes, good people. But if they saluted him, can’t you?
6. Good Music
I was feeling Nostalgia. And I’m sure Channel Orange is dope. And that’s all that matters. So what he snuck a couple of references to a guy he was feeling? Who cares if you may have to change a word when you’re blasting it in your whip? I don’t. And you shouldn’t either.
7. Between Love And Love
Christopher Francis Ocean already said that he believes marriage isn’t between a man and a woman but it’s between love and love on “We All Try.”
I heard those lyrics and was flabbergasted. I was so thrown off that I had to listen again. And at that point I figured either Frank was trying to get the GaGa audience or he believes that. Maybe his theory isn’t off. Don’t some animals mess with the same gender? No? Not fish? Do fish even have genders? No? They don’t have boy and girl parts? Where do fishsticks come from then? If no one’s gonna answer I’ll just move on.
8. Frank Ocean vs. Chris Brown
Son beefed with Chris Brown. It seems like a long, long time ago and it was just last year that Chris Brown gave Frankie some sideways compliment on Twitter and the response was a comparison to Ike Turner.
Then it ended up with Chris Brown’s goons chasing Frank in his car or threatening him or something like that. I’m not saying he’s a tough guy but at that time C Breezy was fresh off bruising Rihanna’s snot box. Not that that’s scary to most dudes but a young man who you would think would have a crush on Chris was going at him and was probably ready to scrap.
I’m not saying I wouldn’t fight Chris Brown but dude looks a little off.
If someone paid me $22,382 to fight Chris Brown…I would do it, but only because that’s how much I owe in student loans. A penny less and I wouldn’t take the chance of that fist-slinging songbird connecting a shot or two. Not that I wouldn’t press charges and get that bread. Anyway I’m just saying, any man that talks smack to another more famous R&B artist is bold and deserves a listen from you.
But there’s two sides to every story and if you’re out there saying, “Sha
sure is defending Frank Ocean pretty hard,” I must warn you that there is more to add before you log off. I wanted to give you some reasons why you shouldn’t listen to Frank anymore after “the announcement.” Since I haven’t decided if I’m buying his album yet, maybe I can help some of you too with your indecision.
1. Hard Being A Fan.
Being his fan will have its issues. It may cause barbershop arguments; girls may look at you a certain way without telling you. The CD in your home may warrant a strange reaction from your colleagues. It’s just like when Queen pops up on your Pandora or iTunes playlist, but worse. Freddie Mercury sang better, and he’s not with us anymore. Frank Ocean is young, gifted, and Black but when you say you dig him, ignorant people will snicker and look at each other and assume your announcing you’re really gay. I’m sorry.
2. He’s Not Related To Billy Ocean
Billy Ocean is one of the greatest crooners of our time. Billy Ocean is up there with Jeffrey Osbourne and Al Jarreau as the greatest middle of the road artists that we ask, “is he still alive?” from time to time. How can a singer step into our lives with the same last name as him and not be a relative? That’s like being named Frank Lymon, or Frank Wonder or even Frank Lucas. That’s just wrong.
3. He Doesn’t Need You
Whatever the plan was, it worked. When you’re a vocalist without major airplay and a part of a collective known as Wolf Gang and then you get mentioned in the news in the same breath as Anderson Cooper, you’re doing something right.
Which means he doesn’t need your money. Channel Orange has enough positive and negative publicity that only a fool would believe his/her dollar is going to make a difference.
Man there might be picket signs showing love outside of record stores that don’t even exist anymore. His followers went up, his haters expanded and if your momma asks you with a high-pitched voice, “Who is this Frank Ocean boy? Is that Billy’s son?” that’s when you know it’s real.
4. It Still Might Be A Publicity Stunt
That would make him a liar. You can’t just go around playing with people’s hate. When I hate, I do it with a passion that I want to last. I don’t need someone telling me they’re a certain race and then snatching off the mask and revealing another one.
That’s even worse. So if Frank isn’t gay and he didn’t do a dude five years ago, then the hip-hop community should be even more furious than they were already. Publicity stunts just aren’t cool. The buying public really cares about artists’ lives and well-being and sexuality. We want to make sure we have the truth when we make decisions. Ok so maybe we don’t care.
And maybe Rick Ross being an officer of the law was forgotten after some hit records, but even he confessed I think. All I’m saying is, once you say you’re gay, you better not be fake gay. Not that we want to see footage but I’m just saying he better be a practicer. I can call myself a killer that never actually killed and that wouldn’t be cool.
5. No Showtime
Frank Ocean’s shows may turn into gay rallies and means of expression. They could be rainbow coalitions, and drag queen parades. It may be tough to tell your boys, “I’mma go see Frank Ocean” with dignity.
Oh you’re confident in your manhood? Cool. Do your thing partner. And when you see that group of chicks singing along next to you wondering if your gazing in young Frankie’s eyes or vibing to the tunes…check their necks and hands before you holla. That’s if you want to holla at women at all. And what if he pulls a guy on stage to serenade? My goodness, I just imagined that. That is wild but it could happen. Ok I’m going overboard but this is what people are going to think. I’m just giving you the extreme.
6. Song Lyrics
And speaking of shows, how can you sing song lyrics in public when there are male pronouns like “him” and “he” within records? This is why I deleted my Clay Aiken playlist.
It’s bad enough I change those when I sing Faith Evans or Mary J but for me to switch it up for a male singer is foolish and a waste of time. Dude better pretend he’s talking to a lady like Maxwell does. Did I say that? I’m joking.
7. Male Groupies
So if you’re a lady that wants to be a groupie or whatever they call them nowadays, what are your chances of getting done? Who knows? But you have all kinds of competition and it includes boys.
And what happens when Frank goes to an award show and random guy is next to him…or even worse, someone like Jamie Foxx escorts him as a “homie” or “mentor?”
You don’t want that vision in your head. More artists are gonna come out, and more kids are gonna use the term “bisexual” like it’s a fad. And by accepting this guy and his songs, you are a part of it all.
8. The Drive
Just envision a summer night in your city and you’re a young man driving listening to a random playlist on your phone or pod or whatever cool whip device the youngsters use to play music. You’re blasting joints and some new song on Channel Orange comes on.
And it’s slow and harmonious and a car full of thugs pull up next to you and you guys both have your windows down enjoying the breeze and they see you belting out some possibly fruity lyrics and now they aren’t thinking that your gay, but you think they’re thinking it so you turn the air on and roll the windows up or you turn down the volume. You shouldn’t have to endure this scrutiny. Even if it isn’t real, it isn’t worth it. The same could happen with a group of women so you’re better off not listening to Frank at all.
I hope this was helpful in your decision-making process when it comes to Frank Ocean and his future. Just remember that being who you are is the most important thing when it comes to artistry and I may be making jokes but we all congratulate anyone with the courage to come out like LL Cool J did.
He didn’t come out? My bad. Sorry about that. Be yourself people and buy Frank Ocean on July 17th…if you want to. Jesus will love you either way…maybe.