Have you heard of Frank Ocean?
Frank Ocean. Some of his fans call him Frankie, do you know who I'm talking about now?
You've never heard of him?
Wow, okay. That's pretty cool. Eh. Actually it's not unless you claim to be a fan of Odd Future. If that's the case, then that's actually kind of bad seeing as, next to Tyler, Frank Ocean is the most known member of the group.
You're probably thinking, "What is she talking about? I knew from her last post that she was missing a couple of screws, so why would I even bother attempting to read this?" If you aren't thinking that, then you're awesome. Thanks for giving me a chance to redeem myself. If you are thinking that, then you're awesome too because I read your mind, and it's always awesome when you can read someone's mind.
Anyway, Frank Ocean is a member of the California based group Odd Future. Okay, great. Whoopdy doo. What's so special about this guy? Why are you dedicating a blog post to him? Well, Frank Ocean is one of the first people in the hip-hop community to come out as a bi-sexual.
Can I just have a moment? Frankie's letter was beautiful, at least in my opinion. Seriously, that was one of the most moving things I've read in a long time. Seriously. My friends keep telling me that I'm over-reacting, but I think that Frankie's letter was beautiful. I'm considering printing it out and hanging it on my wall. This is the link to his letter.
Please, go read it right now. You can finish reading my blog post later. Just read his letter now. Here, I'll copy and paste the letter for you so you don't need to open a new tab. You get the full affect from reading it on his Tumblr, but to save time just read it here.
Whoever you are. Wherever 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 3 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. 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. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love. It would change 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 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 then. 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 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 find 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 windowseat. It’s December 27, 2011. By now I’ve written two albums. This being the second. I wrote to keep myself busy and sane. I wanted to create worlds that were rosier than mine. I tried to channel overwhelming emotions. I’m surprise at how far all of it has taken me. Before writing this I’d told some people my story. I’m sure these people kept me alive, kept me safe. Sincerely, these are the folks I wanna 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 alrite. 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 it 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 thought it wasn’t what I hoped for and even thought 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. - Frank
Wasn't that beautiful? Maybe it's just me. Sorry. I'll stop. I'll get back to the point.
Just think about it for a second. It's hard being gay in the hip-hop/rap community. Rapper Lil B (Aka Lil B The Based God) tried to name his album "I'm Gay" to support LGBT community, and he started receiving death threats. Death threats. "I got major love for the gay and lesbian community, and I just want to push less separation and that's why I'm doing it," he told MTV last year when he was releasing the album. But when the album's artwork was unveiled, Lil B added the words "(I'm happy)" to the title.
It should be noted that before Frankie posted his letter, he posted on his Tumblr account, "BASEDGOD WAS RIGHT we’re all a bunch of golden million dollar babies. my hope is that the babies born these days will inherit less of the bullshit than we did. anyhow, what i’m about to post is for anyone who cares to read. it was intended to fill the thank you’s section in my album credits, but with all the rumors going round.. i figured it’d be good to clarify.. "
Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam, the record label that Frankie is signed to said in a blog post, "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, and because of that I decided to write this short statement of support for one of the greatest new artists we have."
Frankie released his debut album, Channel Orange, two weeks early, after his first television performance on Jimmy Fallon's show. At last check, Channel Orange was number 1 on Target, and it was the Nation wide Trending Topic on Twitter for 3 straight days. Target refuses to sell Channel Orange, claiming that it is because the album was exclusively released to iTunes a week prior to the planned release date, but some think that Target's decision is simply because of Frankie's sexuality.
Frankie was born in New Orleans, and in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina hit, he moved to Los Angelos to pursue a recording career. He joined Odd Future in late 2009, signed to Def Jam records, and legally changed his name from Christopher Breaux to Christopher Francis William Ocean. Frankie has written songs for Beyonce, Justin Bieber, John Legend, and Brandy and he was featured on Kanye West and Jay-Z's album "Watch the Throne". As I'm writing this, I feel like a creep for knowing all of this about a guy that I've never met, but that's another story..
Frankie has lost a lot of "fans," but he has also gained a lot (These "fans" also get quotations, but I'll go in depth about that soon). Just three weeks ago, when I'd go down my timeline on Twitter, I'd see loads of guys and gals tweeting, "#NowPlaying Thinkin Bout You - Frank Ocean! I love this song!" or "Frank Ocean is one of the realest, best singers out there, man." or "I'm hype to that Frank Ocean, come talk to me when you know a song other than Thinkin Bout You!" Now, these same people are tweeting things like, "Ewww I can't stand that Thinkin Bout You song! HE WAS PROBABLY SINGING TO A MAN!" or "Frank Ocean so gay, man. That's so nasty. Anybody that listens to him is GAY!I bet all of ya'll listening to Frank Ocean are some fags! Gay, nasty, fags!!!!1!" or "#TweetAFag: @Frank_Ocean."
In my opinion, Frankie didn't need these fans in the first place. If you stop liking an artist because of his sexuality, then you more than likely didn't like him in the first place. Or, if listening to Frank Ocean now that he is out of the closet makes you gay, then I'm pretty sure that listening to him before he was out of the closet also makes you gay. I also don't like the new fans. If you didn't like a singer before you found out he was bi-sexual, but you're suddenly in love with him then I also think you're a fake "fan".
My last point is that I don't understand how "gay" is an insult. Before someone calls me out, I will admit that I have used it to describe someone (well actually I've only used it to describe my bestfriend), but the longer I think about it, the more I realize that "gay" really isn't an insult. Even when using it to describe my friend, I don't mean it as an insult. It's kind of like a joking term, ya know? It's probably offensive though, like the commercial (have you seen it?) shows:
Two girls are standing beside each other behind the counter, they're both cashiers. The brunette cashier says, "So can you go out today?" The blonde says, "No. My parents won't let me." The brunette responds, "That is so. Gay." The blonde nods, "Really gay." Then, a celebrity (in this case, Hilary Duff), pops up out of nowhere. The celebrity says, "How'd you like it if I said that's so blonde girl with a bad haircut? Or that's so brunette girl with a pimple? Think about what you say." (Maybe she didn't use those exact words, but you get my point.) Gay literally means "happy", so if being happy is wrong I don't want to be right.
If my post has inspired you to listen to Frank Ocean, then I suggest his songs, "Bad Religion" "Super Rich Kids" "We All Try" "Swim good" "Thinking About You" "Pyramids" "White" "She" "American Wedding" and "Nature Feels".
Ciao for now, Adria