Tag Archives: tyler the creator

I’ll support you, Frank Ocean.

It’s a taboo subject within a genre that emphasizes masculinity at every turn. Although it’s known that the music industry is filled with people who identify themselves as homosexual, some people refuse to acknowledge that it exists. It’s like some people truly believe that every artist is straight and it’s blasphemy to think otherwise. As if every hip-hop artist is toting pistols and gang-bangin’ like they try to portray in their music. It makes no sense.

As of a couple of days ago, we may be on our way towards more openness in music.

On his tumblr page, Odd Future’s Frank Ocean posted a letter that was intended for the closing thank you’s of his upcoming July 17 album, Channel Orange. In the letter, the singer admitted that his first love was in fact, a man.

Ocean immediately received support from fellow Odd Future member Tyler the Creator, Russell Simmons, Solange Knowles and many others. Even co-author of Jay-Z’s book Decoded, Dream Hampton, wrote a letter in support of Frank Ocean’s decision. But where there is positive support, there is negative criticism. Many people decided to call Frank Ocean gay slurs and claim that they can’t listen to his album. Bombarding the man’s twitter timeline with negative comment after negative comment, showing their true colors as bigots.

If the man’s own mother supports him, why should we as fans say anything different. It’s his personal decision to love whoever he wants to love behind closed doors. If anything, I admire Frank Ocean. Hip-hop culture is and has been homophobic for ages. In taking a risk as big as this one was, he essentially slapped conventional wisdom in the face and allowed himself to be free to write whatever music he feels like writing. He has complete artistic freedom in the writing of his songs.

It’s hard enough just trying to be a black man in America. But as a heterosexual black man, I can’t imagine being a bisexual man would make things much easier. But I’ll still be supporting Frank Ocean on July 17th. His sexual preference changes nothing; the guy is still a genius songwriter with an incredible ceiling. And if someone wants to call Frank Ocean names for having feelings for either sex, maybe you take a look in the mirror and think about who you are. Real, confident people could care less what another person does in their private life.

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No Church in the Wild: Why can’t more rap songs be like this?

Jay-Z & Frank Ocean diligently at work

It took almost eight months and a lonely drive back from Chattanooga before I finally came to appreciate the masterpiece that is “No Church In the Wild,” a song by legends Jay-Z & Kanye West(yes) and newcomer Frank Ocean.

I had heard the song on a countless number of occasions but why did it take this one listen for my ears to adjust to this excellent piece of music? The same reason why anyone likes a song months after they originally heard it: they weren’t listening to begin with.

After 37 or so more listens, I’ve become convinced that the track is a modern day classic. How many times will we see a mainstream rap song played across radio stations with references to the Holy Trinity, Plato’s Euthyphro, AND the Great Chain of Being?!?!

Illustration of The Great Chain of Being

Just think about this for a minute. At the height of his fame, veteran rapper Canibus was criticized for being too “intellectual” in his rhymes or “complicated.” I’ve heard friends shun Immortal Technique for this same reason. But two big time rappers just did the exact same thing and are preparing to release it as the last single for their album!

The main lyrics of the album that have me so fascinated are apart of the hook:

“Human beings in a mob
What’s a mob to a king? What’s a king to a God?
What’s a God to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything?
Will he make it out alive? Alright, alright, no church in the wild”

A.K.A.

King > Mob
God > King
God vs. Non-Believer??

Although I am a believer, I can appreciate it when music can make me think about my beliefs in life, and not just based on religion. The hook was so powerful to me that it has inspired my first movie script, which I will be posting in its entirety on One Brother to Another unless I decide otherwise.

But the major point of this post? A message for rappers today: I enjoy clubbing and losing my mind and going H.A.M. but why not switch it up every now and then and change the content of your lyrics? If you really want to be appreciated(as the waves of support and positive feedback this song has received shows), maybe you should try and make us fans want to pick up a book or do a Google search every now and then rather than pick up a bottle of Grey Goose.

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Summer Tunes: 3 Cruising songs for the week

In my mind, summer is defined by tasty food, exciting relationships and feel-good music. Today, I’m going to focus on the music part and highlight a few songs that you might want a give a few spins while cruising around your respective city. Continue reading

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