SILENCE = CONSENT

Posts tagged “artists

Frank Ocean: Say You’re Bi, and the Queers will Buy

Last night I had the opportunity to listen to Frank Ocean’s cd “Channel Orange”.  As I listened to the his lyrics, his voice, his passion, all sorts of questions started to run through my head.

Did he ever come out as gay or bisexual?  Did he ever say anything more than, “I was in love with a man”?  Is his courageous transparency about his personal life his way of reaching out to young people who are dealing with issues surrounding their sexuality?  Is he a trailblazer who is changing the rabidly homophobic landscape of hip hop and R&B music?  Is he being forced to be a “gay role model”?  Was he simply just creatively telling his story, or is all of the hubbub over this cd a clever marketing plan called “Say you’re bi, and queers will buy”?

Personally, I appreciate Frank’s artistry, his creativity and his courage.  I applaud his lyricism.  I celebrate his being open and honest about such a personal experience.  It takes a level of intestinal fortitude most black men don’t have.  In a social climate where hyper-masculinity abounds, and outright hatred and disrespect for anything feminine outside of meeting the sexual needs of irrationally afraid little boys in men’s clothes, Frank Ocean made a move that for many would ruin their careers.

But for me, it’s hard to tell if Mr. Ocean is truly an artist who has a message.  I suppose I will just have to wait and see what happens after all the fairy dust settles.  I’d like to think this talented young man lives his life with boldness and integrity.  It would be refreshing to find out that there are prominent  people in the hip hop and R&B music scenes, who when around their fellow artists, will stand up and check them on their ignorant homophobia.  He could actually be knocking down the walls that have kept people like Mz. Fontaine. Katastrophe, DaLyrical, Tori Fixx, Deep Dickollective, Deadlee and countless others from experiencing main stream acceptance for being brilliant artists.

Me being me, I have to question if Frank Ocean’s “I was in love with a man” revelation him just being authentically Frank, or if he is being used by a clever marketing machine to pimp the LGBTQ community for their dollars.

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The Music Ministry of Homophobes

The other day, I saw Kim Burrell sing a tribute to Whitney Houston. I gotta admit, the woman can truly SANG! I have heard no one sing a song and vocally toy with the relative minor key of the song like Mz. Burrell. Lord KNOWS she is truly talented. I will even go so far as to say that in my opinion, like Mz. Burrell, the best singers in the world get their start in church.

However, the bad thing about all this good singing is when some of the most beautiful voices come from the most rabidly homophobic people. The worst is knowing that the victims of said homophobia continue to support these homophobic hate-mongers with their money and time. Why is that?

There are several artists that I simply just CANNOT support. I, with a clear conscience, can’t buy their music. I can’t deny their talent, but I won’t give my money to them. It’s like casting my pearls before swine. I refuse to pay someone to spiritually abuse and disrespect me.

I remember the days when I couldn’t wait for a Yolanda Adams, Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell, Angie Stone cd, or to hear Dorinda Clark-Cole preach. But after hearing the hate they spew in their concerts and during sermons, I had (and still have) a hard time hearing God in their messages. Maybe it’s just my own handicap.

In my opinion, these people don’t care about their largest fan base. Sure, they want to push units. They want packed out venues. But they don’t care about the people who have made them who they are. Think about it… Who would Kim Burrell be if it wasn’t for the gay men who buy her cds? Would Yolanda Adams be the diva she’s become if it wasn’t for gay dollars? Where has Angie Stone been since her declaration that lyrics to her hit song “Brotha” didn’t apply to gay men? And would Dorinda Clark-Cole be the glam goddess she is if it weren’t for the kidz?

I don’t know about anyone else, but when it comes to my money and who I allow to speak into my spirit, I am very cautious. After all the hate I’ve been blessed to overcome, and the scars from abuse that I live with, I cannot let anyone abuse me. It doesn’t matter who they are. A person doesn’t have to understand or like me, but respect is a must! If we are buying their music, and spending money to attend their concerts, the LEAST they owe is respect. We ARE human beings. And most important for them, we ARE the fans! Besides, I doubt very seriously these people have the nerve to go toe to toe with someone spewing their hatred. For them to do so on stage behind the cloak of celebrity (and having security) is cowardly.

The Bible speaks of loving God and your brothers and sisters with the same intensity that you love yourself. I fail to see where using disrespectful epithets like “faggot” from a celebrity platform is showing love. I suggest reading I Corinthians 13 again. It describes how love behaves in great detail. These people DO believe the Bible…right?

Gospel Artists say they have “music ministries”. The word “ministry” means “to serve”. How are you serving someone by putting them down, being mean and disrespectful? I guess what I’m trying to say is, it is possible to respect a person’s talent yet not support their “ministry”. Maybe if a massive boycott happened, some of these “music ministers” would get a new revelation about God and Divine Love, ya think?