Like America itself, hip-hop’s attitudes toward homosexuality have changed drastically over the last half decade, fueled by the emergence of pro-gay artists such as Frank Ocean and Macklemore. However, homophobic sentiments are still abound: in just the last year, we’ve seen Tyler the Creator defend his usage of the word “faggot” on national television and ASAP Rocky draw criticism for appearing to mock gay NBA player Jason Collins during an awards show. That’s not to mention Eminem, who generates controversy every time he releases an album (as was the case last year).
Now, rapper T-Pain has made some eye-opening remarks regarding certain rappers’ attitudes toward Frank Ocean. “I don’t think urban music is getting more gay friendly because if that was the case, Frank Ocean would be on a lot more songs,” T-Pain said in a recent interview with Vlad TV. He continued by claiming several unnamed rappers “will not do a song with Frank Ocean just because he gay.”
“Like, he was on [Jay Z and Kanye West’s] Watch the Throne album before he came out,” T-Pain explained, “and then when he came out, it’s like he can’t get in the studio with Jay and Kanye right now. It’s so fucking terrible. … It’s in his fuckng genes. It’s not a fucking choice. The man came out like that, and you can’t just fucking disown this man because he’s living a certain life that you don’t fucking approve of because somebody told you not to approve of it.”
Frank Ocean revealed his sexuality in an open letter published in July 2012. Since then, he’s appeared on Jay Z and Kanye West’s respective solo albums, released in 2013, so it’s a little unclear what T-Pain meant when he said Frank “can’t get in the studio with Jay and Kanye right now.” Recently, Frank has also been spotted in the studio with Pharrell Williams and Danger Mouse, working on his sophomore studio album.