Frank Ocean, whom Vulture has loved greatly for some time, used his Tumblr to share a TextEdit document discussing his first love, who was a man. Here’s the story: “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 changed my life.” Reuters describes this as, “an admission of same-sex attraction that is seen as groundbreaking for the world of hip hop,” and that’s basically on the money. Don’t forget that while Ocean’s not a household name quite yet, he was one of the only credited guests (two features, to be exact) on Kanye West and Jay-Z’s hyper-prevalent Watch the Throne record last summer.
Ocean goes on to reflect (vaguely) on the way this experience made him feel about the other sex: “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.”
The note was originally intended to comprise the thank-yous in his upcoming album, Channel Orange, “but with all the rumors going round.. i figured it’d be good to clarify.”
“My Big Brother Finally Fucking Did That,” tweeted Odd Future ringleader Tyler, The Creator. “Proud Of That Nigga Cause I Know That Shit Is Difficult Or Whatever.” Russell Simmons weighed in on his website, “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, and because of that I decided to write this short statement of support for one of the greatest new artists we have.”
Happy Independence Day, Frank and everyone.