Yesterday, with the internet ablaze over the NFL’s first openly gay prospective star, some equally interesting news about the (apparently not always) evolving view of homosexulity in hip hop got a little lost. Over the weekend, DJ Vlad released a video interview with T-Pain that had some interesting revelations on that topic.
“I think the radio is getting more gay-friendly,” said the Auto-Tune champion/noted boat enthusiast. “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. I know n—-s that will not do a song with Frank Ocean just because he gay, but they need him on the f—ing song and that’s so terrible to me, man.“
You can watch the interview in the video below:
T-Pain has been vocal on the topic before; last year, he sent out some interesting tweets, apparently related to his assistant (who is an out gay man):
Intriguing! Certainly, this all makes sense. Considering his immense talents and overall buzz status — not to mention, as T-Pain points out, the general need for male R&B crooners to balance out today’s ubiquitous rap/pop bangers, a la Chris Brown or Miguel — Frank Ocean should probably be a guest artist on 50% percent of the radio. (The other 50% belongs to Drake, who probably shouldn’t duet with Ocean, because no song should be that sensitive.)
So, who exactly are the rappers T-Pain’s talking about? Only he knows the answer to that, but we do know who he’s not talking about: Jay Z, Kanye West, the Odd Future team, Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Pharrell Williams, Nas, and… John Mayer. They (and Beyoncé) make up the main coterie of people who’ve collaborated with Frank Ocean. It’s a powerful but relatively small list — especially when you compare that with, say, the number of guest appearances and collabs that Chris Brown, Miguel, and even Drake have racked up over similar time periods.
Of course, there could be plenty of other factors at play here, ranging from scheduling to label issues to the possibility that Ocean simply doesn’t care about being a go-to guest artist. Either way, though, it’s the anonymous holdouts — not Ocean — who are missing out.