Thursday, July 05, 2012


Frank Ocean's vocals on "No Church in the Wild" make that song; the first time I heard it last summer I had to play it six, eight, a dozen times, just to hear that badass sing it true:

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?

Ocean's album, Channel Orange, comes out later this month. He's playing Lollapalooza next month.

This week, he posted what was meant to be the liner notes for Channel Orange. It included this passage, according to the Los Angeles Times:
“4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I'd see him, and his smile. I'd hear his conversation and his silence ... until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless."
Some social conservatives are upset. A thread on Free Republic included the subtitle, "Attempt to normalize sodomy w/young blacks." The words "sickness" and "depravity" get tossed around.

Help me understand this, please.

Why is Frank Ocean now a bad guy? Why are some people taking what he said about love and using it to condemn him?

And please, spare me the nattering about religion or morals or Christianity. Don't tell me about the Bible. Refrain from what Jesus or Allah or Abraham taught.

Just tell it to me straight (no pun intended): Why is Frank Ocean now a bad guy? He's still the badass from "No Church in the Wild." He's still an incredibly talented singer-songwriter.

Why is he now a bad guy?

Because he loved a man? Because he acknowledged it? I thought it was an admirable, noble thing to stand up in public and tell the world you love someone.

I'm not playing coy. I'm not being obtuse on purpose. I really don't get this and I want to understand.


Jason Wert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason Wert said...

UGH...when I posted my initial comment it double posted and then deleted both when I tried to delete the double. :( Let me try again.

Ron, I'm no fan of this guy so I really don't have an opinion either way on what kind of person he may be good or bad.

And I have to reject your request to not mention Christianity. It's my faith, it's how I live my life and to tell me to leave it out is to tell me that my opinion isn't worthy of consideration while at the same time demanding an answer to a question that I can only answer through the filter of my faith.

I read the thread to which you linked and most of those comments were abhorrent. It didn't surprise me to see that it was on a message board that allows anonymous comments and/or people to use "nicknames" because then people can be idiots and let their ignorance fly because they know they will never be held accountable. However, I also don't think it's quite fair to hold up those who may disagree with any actions Ocean may or may not have taken because of this man of cowardly, anonymous morons.

From the Christian angle, there's no reason to say anything negative about Ocean. Period. No matter what he may have done, there's nothing that says we're to condemn him personally. Any "Christian" who is out there calling him depraved or anything other inflammatory adjective simply isn't being a Christian. Yes, the action people are alluding to him having taken is shown a sin in the Bible. So's gluttony. Should we go to Old Country Buffet on Sunday and see how many Christians are falling short there? Even so, the comments from Ocean don't really say that he engaged in physical activity with the man...just that he felt attraction. (Yes, you could say it's alluded to in the "Sleep I would often share" line but he could also mean that he was dreaming about the guy. The last part says to me that it's an unrequited feeling of love.)

There's a knee-jerk reaction in many parts of the "Christian" community, especially among those who show up on Sundays and then let their Bible sit in the floorboard of the car until next Sunday, to respond with condemnation on a person because they allegedly committed some sin. We could go round and round about how one sin is not worse than another but at the end of the day it comes down to an immaturity in faith among many. The condemnation you may see from those who say they're Christians simply comes from not understanding the faith they claim to profess.

Does that answer your question? I don't know. I'm sure some people have reasons other than an immaturity in understanding their faith and life system. That's just the glaring one that I can see at the moment.

Donna said...

You know Ron, any reason to hate the black man, be he a brilliant artist or a compassionate (badass) president. Yes, I believe the vitriol is racially motivated. How dare he be black AND gay. Uppity ...

The Ferber Family said...

There is no explanation for ignorance.