OVERLOOKED: Frank Ocean's Coming Out Makes His Music Even More Powerful
A lot of people hadn't heard of 25-year-old R&B artist Frank Ocean until yesterday when he came out as bisexual on his Tumblr. That's awesome, but so are his songs which you should give a spin if you haven't already.
The open letter published yesterday on his Tumblr recounted his 2007 experience of falling in love with a fellow 19-year-old man who was in a straight relationship. The letter read in part:
4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. 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. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless…
I sat there and told my friend how I felt. I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for them, knowing I could never take them back for myself. He patted my back. He said kind things. He did his best, but he wouldn't admit the same. He had to go back inside soon. It was late and his girlfriend was waiting for him upstairs. He wouldn't tell me the truth about his feelings for me for another 3 years.
I felt like I'd only imagined reciprocity for years. Now imagine being thrown from a cliff. No, I wasn't on a cliff, I was still in my car telling myself it was gonna be fine and to take deep breaths. I took the breaths and carried on. I kept up a peculiar friendship with him because I couldn't imagine keeping up my life without him. I struggled to master myself and my emotions. I wasn't always successful.
In support, Russell Simmons wrote a brief congratulations saying:
"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?… Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear."
If you didn't know, Ocean has written songs for Justin Bieber, John Legend and Beyoncé Knowles and has worked with Jay-Z and Kanye West, so he's definitely got talent and clout.
So let's take a sec to spin some of our newest community member's best grooves.