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Pitch Corrected, Computed, Emotion

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nom Chompsky, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Nom Chompsky

    Nom Chompsky
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    As if I didn't already fuck with Frank Ocean.

    In his new album, Electric Orange, Ocean talks pretty frankly about his romantic love for a man. I can't remember another major R & B artist coming out like this, especially on the precipice of major success, so this is a pretty big deal, in my opinion.

    The world is a different place, and OFWGKTA already has an openly gay member, but there's still a lot at risk here for him. It's easy for me to forget, as somebody who's only lived in liberal places, but Frank's taking a significant risk in his professional life. Look no further than Anderson Cooper, who only just came out after years of being glass closeted, for an example of how even the obvious can be tricky to say.

    Focus:

    Discuss this story, or others about coming out. Don't be an asshole.

    Alt-focus:

    Discuss Frank Ocean. My favorite twitter exchange of all time:

    @ChrisBrown "I fuck with Frank Ocean. Reminds me of a young James Fauntleroy or Kevin Cossom"

    @FrankOcean "I fuck with Chris Brown. Reminds me of a young Sisqo or Ike Turner."
     
  2. Frank

    Frank
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    I don't think it would be easier for a country musician to come out than other professionals.
     
  3. MoreCowbell

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    If you restrict it to males (or R&B versus hip-hop), then you're probably right. But other recent ones have been Lady Sovereign, Azaelia Banks, Kreayshawn, and, depending on the day of the week, Nikki Minaj. Queen Latifah is in that hazy Anderson Cooper area where no one is sure whether she is out or not, but the answer appears to be no in her case.

    Funny you should say that.

    Personally, I'm really happy about this. It's tempting to give it a shoulder shrug, because this isn't a "big deal" for almost any sane American in 2012 (especially anyone posting here). And that largely seems to have been the reaction, which is heartening.

    Two things that make this a little different than some other musicians: regardless of truth, there is a widespread perception that the black and hip-hop communities are opposed to LGBT rights and sensibilities. See. for example, the debates about Proposition 8 voting patterns or OFWGKTA's lyrics. I think in both cases the degree to which it is different from other communities is exaggerated, but the perception is out there and the previous absence of out hip-hop and R&B stars seems to lend some credence to it. So this is a landmark moment.

    It's also odd that the current rapper most frequently criticized for homophobia in his lyrics (Tyler the Creator) now runs a crew that features one openly gay and one openly bisexual musician.
     
  4. lust4life

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    Personally, I don't care what a person's sexual orientation is. It's their business, not mine, as is the choice whether they want to keep it private or make it public. Whatever floats your boat, as long as no one is being harmed. But, there's a vast number in society that don't agree with that line of thinking.

    I don't envy the situation gay celebs are placed in. Pressure from within their own ranks to come out because they are seen as having a duty to use their celebrity to set the example for other gays, advocate and champion their cause carries potential personal risk to their careers*, but also infringes upon their right to privacy.

    *I think celebrities have less risk in this area than non-celebs. Who's career (and life in general) would suffer more adverse effects of coming out, a singer/actor/comic or a CEO/fireman/teacher? The entertainment industry is far more liberal than most other business sectors, but maybe I'm missing something?
     
  5. MoreCowbell

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    Yes, but it also comes with the norm where someone's personal life is considered open season. Outside of meeting their significant other at the company holiday party, few people consider their CEO's personal life to be any of their business. Gossiping about it would be seen as odd, or poor form. Doubly so for firemen, etc. But discussion of the gender of someone Lady Gaga is dating is considered part of the 'public sphere' and regularly discussed. The closet is harder to maintain for them.
     
  6. katokoch

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    One of my cousins came out a couple weeks ago. It doesn't change how I view her, nor do I think it's gonna be a big deal within my family (despite her being the first homosexual in the extended family I know of).

    Seeing as she lives with her partner in a small town in rural Illinois, I unfortunately wouldn't expect everyone to be quite so welcome to them. We'll see.
     
  7. GTE

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    I thought this was going to be Nom's coming out thread.
     
  8. Trakiel

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    Call me Caitlyn. Got any cake?

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    Already had the first date planned out in your head, huh?
     
  9. Treble

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    Frank: He's on the cusp of mainstream recognition (what with his features on Watch The Throne etc.), but he doesn't have it yet, and so it's well timed, I think. Before he blows up and becomes a figure recognized and followed by more than just hipsters and music aficionados, he needed to get this out of the way for his long term sanity. And honestly right now I don't think a significant portion of his audience gives a shit. The guy's press coverage comes more from the Pitchfork end than the Source end (does The Source do R&B? I'm white). If anything it's a point of interest to that demographic.

    And going forward, with his brand of cerebral R&B it's not gonna matter so much. If he were Chris Brown and all over the Billboard charts and in the clubs, it might matter more. I don't think the culture is ready to dance/party to music that's explicitly homosexual. Which makes sense; if you're at a club and want to get your fuck on with girls, you want music playing that's about getting your fuck on with girls, or girls getting their fuck on with you, or whatever, so that the idea's in everybody's head. You don't wanna hear about sucking a dude's dick while you're grinding up on some biddie.

    But Frank Ocean is weed smoking/babymaking music. (That's interesting. Would straight people fuck to gay music?) His lyrics are stories; the listener doesn't project himself into the song the way he does with something like 'Give Me Everything' or 'Tonight I'm Fucking You' or whatever. The 'I' in Frank Ocean is a character, a persona constructed on the foundation of the real Frank Ocean, someone who lives in California and writes songs and meets wannabe dentists--not a generic swagged-out substitute for the male listener or a generic sex-goddess sub for the female.

    FWIW, Russell Simmons has already written a 'bravo' post: http://globalgrind.com/entertainmen...to-frank-ocean-gay-bi-sexual-comes-out-photos

    Other Gay People: I have friends who came out to their folks and their folks said "Oh, we know. Can you pass the peas?" And I have a friend who had his Facebook 'Interested In' status changed, as a joke, to Men, and it took him an hour to convince his parents that it was a joke, and they didn't need to pack his shit and throw him out of the house. The first reaction has been far more common among the gays I know.

    It can be powerful and also sad. To see someone publicly come to terms with themselves in real time is kind of transcendent. The relief is palpable, and contagious. And then sometimes after a couple days people start acting weird. Not the new gay; their friends. Especially the devout Christians. It sucks because everyone is hurting; the Christians because they want to love their friend but think God is telling them they can't, and the new gay because who he is makes him, in his friends' eyes, someone to be avoided and prayed for. (Is there anything worse than being prayed for?) Sometimes friends grow, and come to a new understanding of love and God. Sometimes. More often you get fumbled and dismissive hellos, ignored invites, and prayers.
     
  10. scootah

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    I kind of loved the way Jim Parsons came out, on the third page of a profile piece like it was only peripherally relevant to add context to another largely peripheral fact.

    I recommend The Velvet Rage a lot. I kind of think that every young gay man, and anyone who is close to or cares about a gay man should read it. Understanding what goes on for most young gay men and why it's so hard for so many is really fucking important. It's a great book.

    A friend of mine is a pretty talented song writer. He's sold a few songs, and if you listen to a certain kind of indie - you might even know one or two of his songs. When he started writing and I was helping him edit - one of the hardest things ever was the conversation about commercialism and the fact that he was hurting his chances of selling songs when he used references to male love interests in songs that were clearly for male singers. That shit sucked.

    I had pretty weird personal coming out experiences. My dad came out to me years before I'd figured out that I wasn't actually straight. It was kind of a passing conversation over beers with my dad one night that I had figured out that I was into guys sometimes. My mum never even got a formal coming out speech. She just met my boyfriend like she met everyone else in my life - and figured out from the unspoken context of our interaction that he wasn't just a friend.

    My other friends and family largely break down into two groups. Colleagues and extended family, and perverts. My pervert friends all know - they've almost all seen me make out with guys or something. My extended family and colleagues mostly don't know that I have a sex life at all. The closer ones know that I'm a pervert - I generally don't go into the details because it just doesn't come up. My extended family are for the most part religious and stupid, and we aren't close - they don't need to know. At work, I just generally don't see any reason to share that information. I don't avoid telling people - I've just never really had a circumstance come up where it was necessary/applicable to go into detail about the gender of my sexual partners.
     
  11. Roxanne

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  12. The Village Idiot

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    Eh, never heard of Frank Ocean before this story. I'm really trying to care, but I just can't seem to. If I didn't know who he was yesterday - why the fuck would I care who he is fucking today?

    And that is my general stance on all things gay: not my business, as long as you're not fucking my wife, couldn't care less if you make out with llamas, guys, girls, speedboats or cacti. I have gay friends, gay family members, and have had gay coworkers. Did it come up at times that they're gay? Sure. Never really changed anything as far as I'm concerned.

    I think Americans would be far better Americans if they remembered that freedom includes being left the fuck alone and to do what makes you happy, so long as you're not hurting anyone else.

    I know it takes a lot of courage to come out, though probably less now than even 20 years ago, and it's a shame that people feel an incredible amount of guilt and shame over something that is pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things.
     
  13. Crown Royal

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    Well, I say good for him. Of course, you'll get nay-sayers that this is a career boost stunt, but why would he? The guy makes solid R & B fucktunes, has a good fan base and critical acclaim. I think that we should live in a grown-up enough society that this should no longer bother anyone. However, it still bothers a LOT of people (not including high school football teams).

    I always thought a great way of judging a person's character is how they react to somebody they know coming out. Parents who disown their kids for such are ignorant monsters. Most people I personally know don't let it bother them. I know it wouldn't bother me if it was my own daughter. However, I've seen it end family and friendships. People who let this sort of shit bother them should be the sort of people that will be dead soon. Younger ones have no excuse for letting it bother them. I mean, every single character on Glee is gay. That school is gayer that Fire Island. Don't the young people all watch that stupid show?
     
  14. Danger Boy

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    This pretty much sums up how I feel about gays:

     
    #14 Danger Boy, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  15. Paperbag

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    I’m a fan of Frank Ocean and this news doesn’t change anything for me. I never listened to his music because he was straight, so I won’t stop if there are a few references to his boyfriend in future songs. I’m excited for the album and if there are tracks that are as good as Novocaine or Thinking About You, it’ll be going straight into my car.
     
  16. Backroom

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    I am FAR more likely to change a song if the singer starts talking about god, rather than if it were to be a guy talking about having a boyfriend.

    Good for him, now we can all go back to not listening to him.
     
  17. JWags

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    See, but thats the reason that its a story, cause he's been talked about as the next big thing and more and more people are listening to him. This isn't that country singer linked earlier that I had never heard of. If you don't like R&B/hip-hop, fine. But if you do, you definitely know who Frank Ocean is.

    In a funny way, it almost fits. He's been an enigma since he started. Despite a fantastic EP and a bunch of features, he never really performed live at all and he's been in the shadows as much as the mainstream. So as much as he musically and a as persona wasn't like most R&B artists, his "divergent" sexual orientation almost fits. Good on the dude, takes alot of courage in general, but in this scenario its even higher stakes.

    Of note too, for the "acceptance" movement in general, Frank Ocean is tied into ALOT of huge names in the game, Jay-Z, Kanye, Beyonce, among others. Their implicit/explicit support for him moving forward could do alot of the rampant homophobia pervasive in alot of hip hop. Or they could do nothing, we'll see.
     
  18. Treble

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    Does anybody know of a good article/whatever on homophobia in hip hop? I read a Pitchfork feature once about the vogue scene in NYC that made oblique reference to it, and it people talk about it as a cultural given, but I can't remember an incident or statement or situation or anything that really illustrates it. Hip hop is for sure hyper masculinized, and it definitely assumes heterosexuality, but how is its culture openly hostile to the gays?
     
  19. trojanstf

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    Off the top of my heaad I could probably name ten different songs where faggot is used on diss tracks or references are made to two members of a group probably fucking each other. I'm at work but I could get them later if necessary.
     
  20. Roxanne

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    From what I understand, ghetto black culture in general is very hostile to gays. It stands to reason that people making music for that demographic would have a hard time being gay, in the same way country music stars have a hard time with it.