When Frank Ocean revealed via his Tumblr last week that his first love was another man, the hip-hop community — often chastised for its homophobia and rigid views on masculinity — came rushing to his side to lend support.
Odd Future pack-mate Tyler, the Creator applauded (in his own Tyler-y way) the R&B crooner’s courage, while Russell Simmons lauded Ocean’s declaration as the start of a new chapter for all hip-hop artists.
Looks like Los Angeles rapper Murs has taken it upon himself to ink the first page. The 34-year-old artist released a music video for his song “Animal Style” over the weekend, in which he plays Roderick, a high school student who struggles with both his sexuality (“Roderick kept his secret closeted/Scared to come out into this world of zero tolerance”) and his boyfriend Jonathan, an openly gay classmate (“He see him in the halls/But Rod would never acknowledge him”).
The video charts the rocky love story of these two conflicted boys — an ultimately tragic tale that leads to a disturbing and unforeseen climax.
Unhappy endings aside, the work stands as yet another ringing endorsement for gay rights in an arena that has been largely silent on the issue in years past.
Said Murs, who is seen wearing a ‘Legalize Gay’ T-shirt in the clip and who exchanges a kiss with Jonathan in the video’s final shot, “With this one I wanted to challenge the listener to ask themselves: Is the love shared by two people of the same gender really that different than the love I have for my partner of the opposite sex?… I felt so strongly about these issues and this song that I had to do a video that would command some attention, even if it makes some viewers uncomfortable.”
Check out the video below, and tell us what you think in the comments section: