Sadly, whatever locksmith Frank Ocean called to help him find the right key to sing didn’t make it in time for his performance at the 2013 Grammys. It was a missed opportunity for the consistently brilliant singer-songwriter albeit still not-that-great performer to impress those who might not know much about him. Despite that, Frank’s stock will only continue to rise given that unless he starts writing lyrics along the lines of “GLEEP GLORP FLEEBLE FLABLE ZIP ZOP ZAM!!” there will remain a demand for his forward-leaning R&B.
Of course, some immediately started to argue otherwise mere seconds into his less-than impressive presentation. Upon the first botched note before that large audience – ZIP ZOP ZAM!! - his biggest detractors wasted no time pouncing. I could quote the critiques verbatim, but they all boggle down to blah, blah, he’s only poppin’ ’cause of that gay ass letter, he is overrated, back in my day we had real sangers, yadda, yadda, more bullshit.
I’m not going to make any excuses for Frank Ocean’s performance. Visually it was stunning, but the rest was anything but. Either way, it was arguably his most important performance thus far. To see a handsome, Grammy-award winning Black man sing about being in love with another man is something that will stay with those struggling for one reason or another with the realities of their sexual orientation for a very long time. Not to mention those who have overcome such struggles themselves. No offense to those men who rock their stiletto pumps in the club and serve as the human equivalent of Beethoven on basic cable for everyone’s amusement, but Frank Ocean represents something different and largely missing from the public sphere.
Regardless of how he chooses to identify himself, he is the only other famous Black male entertainer who has admitted an attraction to men besides RuPaul. Maybe his nerves got the best of him and his rendition of “Forrest Gump” yesterday. Even so, him standing there and being daring enough to sing that song ought to be appreciated on some level.
If you disagree, fine, but I do wish some folks would learn to limit their criticism to their levels of knowledge on a given subject.
If you have never taken the time to actually listen to Nostalgia, Ultra or channel ORANGE, do humanity a favor and shut the fuck up. Seriously, how can you criticize anything you haven’t bothered to experience yourself? How lazy in thought are you? As talkative as I am, I don’t speak on something I know nothing about because I don’t believe in being an intellectual fuck nigga. If you want to be heard, discuss something else you’ve dissected.
There is way too much access to his music courtesy of the Internet for you not to take in before you begin trolling.
The same goes for any subject, for that matter. Quit it. Now.
Likewise, dead the declarations that Frank Ocean is only successful because of a tumblr post where he acknowledged his first love was a man. Next week marks two years since the release of his mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. You can read about it here, but since reading has proven to be taxing for so many of you, let me help you even more. Basically, in frustration with his record label not even bothering to give him so much as a recording budget after signing him, Frank recorded and released an album-quality body of work. Almost immediately, word of it spread all across the Internet — netting him the attention of music fans, critics, his more successful peers, and ultimately his actual record label who had staffers trying to sign someone already apart of the fold.
He essentially created his own success – nothing related to a sword fight – which is why channel ORANGE was already a buzzed about album before the “revelation.” Why this readily available information remains unknown to the “gay for pay” theorists is a testament to why some people need their keyboard privileges monitored and/or revoked.
Don’t let the popularity of the word “shade” fool you: Gay Black men are not that beloved.
The next time you try to argue this fuck ass point, ask yourself this: “How many openly gay, bi, or whatever one deems their love of the peen Black men do I actually see on TV? Film? Music? With books?”
Someone had to step up, but there was no guarantee it would immediately garner them anything other than a spectacle. I’m readily available to offer additional feedback on the lingering plight of gay Black men if needed.
Again, Frank Ocean needs to see about a vocal coach, some honey, tea, and a creative director to step his performing cookies up. Yet, when it comes to the “I don’t like the music I never listened to” folks, fall down a well. And if you’d be so kind, take your “Frank only made it as a gay” cousins in crocks of shit with you.
I wish God would grant me the power to shake the stupid out of the whole lot of you. Call it a blessing.
Edit: You can watch video of Frank Ocean rehearing his Grammy performance below. Much better.