Frank Ocean recently revealed that his hit song “Thinking About You” was actually written about his relationship with a man. Due to the popularity of the song this recent revelation may leave some of his fans with mixed feelings concerning him and his music. Keeping this in mind, there is a deep issue to be addressed when referencing the “Swim Good” singer.
Homosexuality and hip-hop music have long been in at odds with each other. Rap music has been a sphere where proving who’s the most masculine, who can amass the most wealth and who has the most women,
all contribute to the image of success. The singer’s admittance that such a universal song was directed at a love interest of the same sex shakes the traditional school of thinking to its very core.
Manliness and what it means to be a man is being threatened, but if we look outside of rap and hip-hop, there are many other entertainers who have gone on to become successful despite sexual orientation.
Entertainers such as Elton John and David Bowie, who is credited for creating the alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, with his lavish costumes and high hair despite his marriage to who some might consider one of the most beautiful women in the modeling industry, has been able to be successful and make the populous wonder what his sexual preference is. Because of his glitzy stage presence and alternative personality, it’s easy to see why someone would question Bowie’s sexual preference, but in fact, it has played an instrumental part in his success.
Can this also be true for Ocean?
Regardless of anything in his personal life no one can take away Bowie’s massive contribution to music. Performers like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry may not even realize they channel him in choosing to wear
over the top costumes much like those he became famous for.
While the spokespersons for Target have gone on to assure listener Ocean isn’t being swept aside due to admitting his bi-sexuality, this does not mean anyone following the story will outright believe this is
indeed the case. It’s very easy to draw your own conclusions- especially when a person’s popularity is largely based on how their actions are perceived and public opinion. A recent example would be the custody battle between Usher and Tameka Raymond. Tameka has long been portrayed cougar-like and gold digging.
Brought together by tragedy, the two are divorced and now in talks of settling what has been a long publicized nasty fight. Usher, was at one point, the golden child of R&B. He is often either portrayed as the smooth-crooning Lothario or an alleged philanderer. People still buy his records and he remains prevalent in the music industry. So, obviously personal choices don’t always have detrimental effects on an entertainers career.
He even released Confessions Part I and Part II, which chronicled his affair and discusses the possibility of a child.
Frank Ocean’s decision to disclose his true sexual orientation opens a proverbial can of worms for his fans and casual listeners because now it’s no longer about the music, but about who he’s attracted to and
who his real target audience is. It can go one of two ways. He will either be embraced by his fans for being true to himself or he will face public scrutiny and be ostracized amongst his peers for coming forward. A man’s sexuality does not define who he as a person. His actions do. If we can learn anything from the artist it is that eventually no matter who we are, we all are forced to be ourselves. No amount of money or success will change who he is and it is clear based on his decision to come forward.
Homosexuals are often portrayed as effeminate and sissified in comparison to heterosexual men. By doing this it is less likely they will be taken seriously. There are gay rappers, gay popular singers and gay artists from all walks of life who in their own right are talented. Again, their sexual orientation has no bearing on their natural talents. In the end it is up to the listener to decide what to think.