Frank Ocean’s $27,000 USD sex toy left many fans disappointed and muddled. At what point does a popular musician’s entry into fashion and other high-end avenues become exploitative?
Frank Ocean unveiled a $27,000 USD male genital sex toy last year – complete with a nude photography demonstration, obviously – leaving many fans feeling deflated.
It’s been six years the release of Ocean’s last full length LP Blonde, which has since been cemented as one of last decade’s most influential mainstream albums. A few rumours of summer studio recordings and Spotify cover image changes stirred online, with most hoping that we’d finally hear fresh music after all this time.
Instead, Frank gifted us with what can only be described as a rich man’s bedroom indulgence toy.
I’m not sure exactly who this item is for outside of the uber capitalist, rich fashionistas of A-list celebrity spheres, and it’s disappointing to see Ocean drop something so incredibly inaccessible to nearly everybody else.
Uber capitalist musicians are not a new phenomenon, of course. Many artists transition into luxury products, including Rihanna, Kanye, Travis Scott, Machine Gun Kelly, Tyler The Creator, Pharrell Williams, Diddy, Madonna, and many more.
Expanding into other industries isn’t necessarily worthy of criticism and is often simply good business. There are occasions, however, where a line can be crossed into exploitative territory.
Should we really be giving Ocean our time and attention for an insanely overpriced jewellery product over half a decade on from his last notable body of work? At what point does a creator use their fanbase and public goodwill for self-serving bag chasing?
Frank is no doubt aware that buzz will always swirl around his name. It’s depressing to see that privilege be used to push ludicrously expensive luxuries rather than to do anything meaningful for normal people.