The song “Bad Religion” was released by Def Jam and Odd Future on July 10, 2012. The song was not a separate single, but despite this, it became one of the most famous and popular of all Frank Ocean’s releases. According to music fans and critics, this track still occupies one of the leading places in the artist’s work.
In addition to the musical component of the track, certain themes that were raised in it, as well as in the album “Channel Orange”, where the track was first released, added to its fame. Frank Ocean used this song and the record as a whole to make a kind of a coming-out. In other words, it was his way of declaring his homosexual tendencies. It was pretty bold for the time. The major music magazine “Rolling Stone” noted in its pages that due to his open stance Frank Ocean became really the first major star in the world of hip-hop that openly began to discuss topics about same-sex attraction. He can be considered the first truly popular American singer of the twenty-first century that openly declared himself to be gay.
History of Frank Ocean – Bad Religion
Frank Ocean, who at the time of the release of this composition was only about twenty years old, directly participated in its writing. He actively participated in working on the lyrics with a number of famous authors. He also spent a lot of time in the studio, where he was engaged in improving the sound and mixing.
But in fact, the songwriter didn’t really have the goal of making this track just for camming out. It turns out that Frank described in this song his feelings that he experienced when he first experienced the disappointment of unrequited love.
To talk about these experiences, he compares the feelings that a person in love has for another person who will never reciprocate them to “bad religion.” Thus, in the song, he wanted to convey the idea that someone who falls in love unrequitedly can be damned.
Released so many years ago, the track “Bad Religion” became not only a landmark for its singer Frank Ocean. Plenty of other musicians picked up on the theme and began to speak out about their orientation. Others began to more openly express their anti-religious stance in their work. Many fans supported their idols, but an equal number did not share these ideas of musicians.
The meaning of the song Frank Ocean – Bad Religion
The meaning of the song is revealed even more strongly when we realize that the hero pours out his soul to the cab driver. In some states of America cab drivers are of Middle Eastern origin. Here too, the driver greets with the phrase “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”). The hero of the song reacts negatively to these words, which forces the Muslim to recommend him to pray. But this reveals a different subtext to him, and he decides that “if it brings me to my knees, it’s a bad religion.”
Basically, his position is clear. He’s not the kind of person who believes in the commonly accepted tenets of religions like repentance and prayer. He’s a homosexual, and it’s understandable why he holds that opinion. After all, virtually every major religion in the world, especially Islam, disapproves of same-sex relationships.
With this song, Frank Ocean achieved the goals he set out to accomplish. The talented musician declared his orientation in public. And at the time it was a real feat, given that black artists very rarely spoke openly about their sexual preferences. He also tried to convey to every listener that he was more concerned with doing what he wanted to do, rather than acting according to some higher power.
Everyone understood this song in their own way. Some didn’t understand why their friends turned away when they found out that their friend listened to this music. After all, according to such people, Frank Ocean did not want to belittle any of the existing religions, and Islam in particular. The song is more about the fact that falling in love, which is comparable to worshiping another person, is not a good thing. This state is like believing in a “bad religion”. And this is just a metaphor to reinforce the point. It does not refer to any religion, but rather describes the feeling of complete and boundless love, when one is ready to deify one’s chosen one.