On Tuesday, I witnessed my timeline on Twitter go into frenzy of utter madness with numerous comments coming from users across the globe all declaring one thing; “Frank Ocean is gay.”
In the week when Anderson Cooper finally cleared the air of his sexual ambiguity, could it be possible that the fledgling Odd Future crooner would follow in pursuit? My initial instinct was to believe that this was a hoax, as it had recently become rumored that Frank would in fact ‘out’ himself on his forthcoming album, Channel Orange.
It turns out the rumors are in fact true, as they came straight from the
mouth keyboard of Mr. Ocean himself. Taking to his tumblr, Ocean penned a letter describing his relationship with another man, providing detailed excerpts such as “We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide…Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence..until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him.” Frank went on to share in confusion as a teenager declaring, “I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager..the ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time. I realized they were written in a language I did not speak…I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore.”
Now we all know that hip-hop traditionally does not embrace artists from all walks of life, be it different races, nationalities, and yes, sexualities. However, people are coming out in support of Frank for addressing his sexuality. As expected, OFWGKTA leader Tyler The Creator was the first to address Frank’s statement. Taking to Twitter, Tyler tweeted, “My big brother finally f*cking did that. Proud of that n*gga cause I know that sh*t is difficult or whatever.” Russell Simmons also took to GlobalGrind to congratulate Frank Ocean and issue the following statement:
“The Courage of Frank Ocean Just Changed the Game! Today is a big day for hip-hop. It is a day that will define who we really are. How compassionate will we be? How loving can we be? How inclusive are we? I am profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean. Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear. These types of secrets should not matter anymore, but we know they do.”
It will be interesting to see how this affects Frank’s career, especially in the realm of hip-hop, for better or for worse. He’s really at a point where he can truly blow up, especially after contributing to the monster hit “No Church In The Wild.” Will hip-hop still embrace Frank for his voice or will prejudice stand in his way? We’ll have to see.