Frank Ocean: “Eyes Like Sky”
I am irritated.
Much as I adore Frank Ocean, he constantly serves as a reminder that the gay media doesn’t care about black male musical artists unless they’re against us or “one of us“. They’ll swoon and throw their panties on the stage every time Justin Timberlake farts onto a microphone, but heaven forbid anyone writes about a new Usher or Miguel song solely because it’s good.
Nobody cared about Frank Ocean until he was “out”—a term that continues to disturb me, since he never once (to my knowledge) stated that he identifies as “gay” or “bisexual”.
As a fan of Ocean’s music, I should be happy that his announcement opened him up to a wider audience. As a gay man, I should be happy that he helped facilitate a conversation about homophobia in the hip-hop and R&B world… Yet I can’t help but shake this feeling that something’s off about the way gay media treats him. These feelings aren’t anything new. They’re just exacerbated when I hear an objectively great song like “Eyes Like Sky”, realizing that queer blogs wouldn’t give it the time of day if it weren’t by a supposedly “openly gay” artist like Ocean.
“Eyes Like Sky” is a poppy, acoustic number with more lyrical depth than you’d grasp from the first few lines. It’s allegedly taken from the same sessions as Ocean’s Grammy award-winning album Channel Orange, and while I don’t think it should have necessarily made the cut, it’s a good thing the world finally gets to hear it.
Take a listen to “Eyes Like Sky” below: