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Frank Ocean Performs 'Bad Religion' On Jimmy Fallon: VIDEO


Making his first ever television appearance, recently out singer Frank Ocean took Jimmy Fallon's stage last night to belt out "Bad Religion," a track from his debut album Channel Orange.

And, yes, the song alludes to the time a man broke his heart. A sample of his lyrics:

This unrequited love
To me it's nothing but
A one-man cult
And cyanide in my styrofoam cup
I could never make him love me
Never make him love me

It's a bad religion
To be in love with someone
Who could never love you
I know
Only bad religion
Could have me feeling the way I do

Watch Ocean bear his musical soul AFTER THE JUMP

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  1. HOT 97 in NYC -- the WORLD's most influential R&B / rap / hip-hop radio station -- played a few of his tracks during their morning show today, and if that doesn't stand for full fledged mainstream support, I don't know what does.

    In the last few days, ChuckD (from Public Enemy) and Busta Rhymes have both made deeply supportive public statements. Black artists are circling the wagons here and protecting their own. it's amazing.

    Also...the comments from black / latino teenagers on his official Facebook page are awe-inspiring. These kids are making a full-court-press to say that they respect and stand by him. When the occasional dimwit posts something anti-gay, twenty people pipe up to shoot him / her down and pledge their support.

    There's a new moral center that's operating within this universe: it's a moral imperative that's saying that it's bolder, braver -- and dare I say, more manly -- to be honest and be yourself. A community that's been disproportionately stung by HIV / AIDS, and has seen firsthand the after-effects of women who are hurt by cheating men on the DL, is coming to its own conclusion: it's better to be yourself and to proudly stand up for who you are. They're drawing inspiration from it, using it as a reason to hold their own heads up high.

    Simply put, we have NEVER seen straight people support a gay artist like this; even Adam Lambert's audience was immediately limited to gay folks, teen girls and soccer moms. Whereas, Frank Ocean's got young men -- "street," "hard," "thug," pick your cliched adjective -- saying, "I got your back, Frank." His OddFuture connections are resonating, too; they're showing that Frank himself wants to assimiliate & create right alongside a group of people who aren't just like him. It says that if Frank likes us, why shouldn't we like him?

    I really can't overstate how unique this is within LGBT subculture's history.

    Posted by: GMB | Jul 10, 2012 1:37:14 PM

  2. I'm not going to lie. I didn't know much about him until he came out of the closet. I bought his album today on iTunes, and now I want to have his baby. May, in fact, be pregnant already from listening to such a sweet, sexy album.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Jul 10, 2012 1:46:25 PM

  3. Wow. That was unexpectedly powerful, both the song itself and that he chose to sing about unrequited love for a MAN in his 1st ever TV appearance.

    If it brings me to my knees
    It's a bad religion

    That seems to have a far broader meaning than just a one-sided love affair, straight to churches which punish and marginalize gay people.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 10, 2012 1:55:27 PM

  4. GMB, do you have a link to Chuck D's comment?

    I'm a huge, huge admirer of Chuck D. He is one of the most influential people on my worldview given that I was in high school and developing my own way of thinking when PE was putting out albums. It was always a bit disappointing to later learn that some of his lyrics (primarily "Meet the G That Killed Me") were homophobic. I'd love to know that his perspective on gay people has evolved.

    Posted by: endo | Jul 10, 2012 1:59:48 PM

  5. What a nice surprise, all around. And thanks, GMB, for the background and overview.

    Posted by: Jeff NYC | Jul 10, 2012 2:30:23 PM

  6. Just bought the album.

    Posted by: david | Jul 10, 2012 2:49:24 PM

  7. Wow. Had not heard of Frank Ocean before his coming out, but this is an artist I will definitely support and tell others about. He just blew me away!

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Jul 10, 2012 4:14:50 PM

  8. Wow. Had not heard of Frank Ocean before his coming out, but this is an artist I will definitely support and tell others about. He just blew me away!

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Jul 10, 2012 4:14:54 PM

  9. I can't. imagine the impact of having a RNB hiphop sing never make him love me to teenage boys of all races but especially Black boys, on tv.Many of them have had crushes on male friends or classmates. Now they have a song they can relate to.It makes me tear eyed thinking about. It

    Posted by: Kim | Jul 10, 2012 7:16:27 PM

  10. Purchased album. Love love love.

    Posted by: Boop | Jul 10, 2012 8:15:10 PM

  11. wow.. the end brought me to tears.. stunning

    Posted by: steve | Jul 10, 2012 8:35:08 PM

  12. Endo -- you can Google search for the headline, "Chuck D: 'Ocean's sexuality statement is no hip-hop first' and you'll find it. He commends Frank Ocean for coming out, but tries to make the distinction that he's an R&B singer, not a true hip-hop artist.

    (That's an entirely different argument, of course. I think Frank himself hopes to defy such genre limitations.)

    This quote, however, moves me: "My thing is that there are so many people who are fronting not to be themselves. The whole key is that whatever Frank Ocean said, at least he was being real with it. The next thing is to sing about it. Write songs about it. Don't say 'OK, this is who I am but I’m going to sing about something else'. That’s the challenge."

    The hip hop & rap community has long identified as counter-culture, and I think that explains much of why they're heralding Frank Ocean now. When ChuckD is exhorting Frank to go even *further* -- by actually singing with explicit lyrics -- they're pushing their own boundaries of the art form. That's invigorating and incredible.

    Posted by: GMB | Jul 10, 2012 11:25:14 PM

  13. Beautiful performance! I'm so happy he picked that song to perform on Jimmy Fallon. It had me tears. I love the new album and plan on also buying a vinyl copy next week. I'm so happy he's getting the recognition that he deserves because he's a talented artist.

    Posted by: Linda | Jul 11, 2012 12:46:05 AM

  14. Since he has come out he will become iconic in regards to both his messages and music. This should top the charts as it is honest and inspiring to others.

    Posted by: Darrell | Jul 11, 2012 2:20:09 AM

  15. well that was pretty damned amazing.

    Posted by: steve | Jul 11, 2012 10:14:22 AM

  16. Chuck D is damning with faint praise. "Oh its cool that you gay man, but you AINT a part of hip hop and you AINT the first gay singer"


    Posted by: Astro | Jul 11, 2012 12:07:41 PM

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