Wednesday, July 4, 2012
SINGER FRANK OCEAN COMES OUT AS GAY
I feel like this has become National Coming Out Week, because a week after Entertainment Weekly ran a front page article about "Coming Out In Hollywood" which played a huge factor into Anderson Cooper breaking through the invisible glass closet and announcing what many already knew about him. Most speculated that it would be Miguel, Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Bruno Mars or Usher letting their flames burn bright, but it was singer Frank Ocean who has come out. Ocean, who is a member of the alternative hip hop group Odd Future, was praised by MTV as the artist to watch and has written songs for Beyonce and Brandy (to name a few). The R&B singer was rumored to be coming out on his upcoming album Channel Orange (out on July 17), but instead decided to come out in a open letter on his Tumblr page after many industry insiders (such as a recent blind item on Bossip) started to speculate that he is "a friend of Dorothy."
Here's what The Boombox had to say after hearing a few cuts of the album at a recent listening party:
[Ocean] has been holding listening parties all over the world, most recently in London, and after giving Channel Orange a spin, BBC 1 radio personality Max reported back on lyrics that would seemingly out Ocean as gay.
"Frank has also opened up about his sexuality on the album, we think it's brave and admire him for being so honest and sharing such a personal aspect of his life through his music," Max said. "On the songs 'Bad Religion' 'Pink Matter and 'Forrest Gump' you can hear him sing about being in love and their are quite obvious words used like 'him' and not 'her.'
In the letter he talks about coming to grips with being in love with someone of the same gender and how falling in love four summers ago that changed him as a man. I should have known that someone with all that creative genius could in no way be straight, because nine times out of ten it's always the gays who put together your straight counterparts whenever it comes to behind-the-scenes creativity. Some of the blogs are claiming him to be bi-sexual, but I'm not buying it. I feel people use the bi card to soften the blow. What I love about Frank living his truth is that here is a young black singer who is at the height of his career being open about who he is when so many obvious black performers continue to hide in the closet. I applaud Frank's bravery and love him even more for this and will keep a close eye out to see what this revelation will do to his future solo career and what does this mean for R&B and hip hop.
You can read his letter in full below...
“Whoever you are, where ever you are, I’m starting to think we’re a lot alike. Human beings spinning on blackness. All wanting to be seen, touched, heard, paid attention to. My loved ones are everything to me here. In the last year or three, I’ve screamed at my creator, screamed at clouds in the sky for some explanation. Mercy maybe. For peace of mind to rain like Manna somehow.
Four 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. It was no escaping, no negotiating with the feelings. No choice. It was my first love. It changed my life.
Back then, my mind would wander to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with. 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 yet speak. I realized too much too quickly. Imagine being thrown from a plane. I wasn’t in a plane though. I was in a Nissan Maxima, the same car I packed up with bags and drove to Los Angeles in.
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 three years. I felt like I 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.
The dance went on…I kept the rhythm for several summers after. It’s winter now. I’m typing this on a plane back to Los Angeles from New Orleans. I flew home for another marred Christmas. I have a window seat. It’s December 27th, 2011. By now I’ve written two albums. This being the second. I wrote to keep myself busy and sane. I wanted to created worlds that were rosier than mine. I tried to channel overwhelming emotions. I’m surprised at how far all of it has taken me.
Before writing this, I told some people my story. I’m sure these people kept me alive, kept me safe…sincerely, these are the folks I want to thank from the floor of my heart. Everyone of you knows who you are… Great humans, probably angels. I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alright.
I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore. There’s probably some small shit still, but you know what I mean. I was never alone, as much as I felt like it. As much as I still do sometimes. I never was. I don’t think I ever could be. Thanks.
To my first love, I’m grateful for you. Grateful that even though it wasn’t what I hoped for and even though it was never enough, it was. Some things never are…and we were. I won’t forget you. I won’t forget the summer. I’ll remember who I was when I met you. I’ll remember who you were and how we’ve both changed and stayed the same. I’ve never had more respect for life and living than I have right now.
Maybe it takes a near death experience to feel alive. Thanks.
To my mother, you raised me strong. I know I’m only brave because you were first, so thank you! All of you, for everything good. I feel like a free man. If I listen closely, I can hear the sky falling too.
- 5 Deadly Venoms
- Another Gay Movie
- Blade Runner
- Boy Culture
- Brokeback Mountain
- Die Hard
- Eating Out
- Enter the Dragon
- First Blood
- Friday the 13th (1980)
- Kill Bill
- Mysterious Skin
- Night of the Living Dead
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Spider Man 2
- The Bourne Trilogy
- The Circuit
- The Crazies (2009)
- The Dark Knight
- The Empire Strikes Back
- The Fluffer
- The Goonies
- The Lost Boys
- The Matrix
- The Monster Squad
- The Road
- The Road Warrior
- The Terminator
- True Lies