Frank Ocean used his Tumblr account to introduce the world to his critically acclaimed Nostalgia Ultra album, and this week the Odd Future singer used it discuss his sexuality, sharing details of a relationship he had with a man when he was younger.
In a heartfelt letter posted Wednesday morning (July 4), he opens up about his “first love,” a young man he spent a handful of summers with beginning at age 19. The candid post from the Odd Future singer quickly began making the rounds on the Net.
“Whoever you are, wherever you are..I’m starting to think we’re a lot alike,” the “Novacane” singer begins. “Human beings spinning on blackness. All wanting to be seen, touched, paid attention to.” The lengthy letter, titled “thank you’s” details a relationship Ocean had with a man, who it turns out had a girlfriend just as Frank had had, and the tumultuous emotions that followed. “He wouldn’t tell me the truth about his feelings for me for another 3 years,” Ocean continues before adding, “I couldn’t imagine keeping up my life without him.”
The Def Jam artist also chronicles how he used music as catharsis: “I wrote to keep myself busy and sane. I wanted to create world that were rosier than mine.” He ends by revealing that he has shared his story with some people close to him, including his mother. And although he admits to being unsure what happens next, he says he finally feels emancipated from his past: “I feel like a free man. If I listen closely.. I can hear the sky falling too.”
In a message Frank posted to his Tumblr not long before the “thank you’s,” the singer hints at the note to come. Titling it “BasedGod Was Right,” a reference to rapper Lil B (a straight MC who provocatively dubbed his album I’m Gay.), Frank writes “we’re all a bunch of golden million dollar babies. my hope is that the babies born these days will inherit less of the bullsh– 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..” Rumors that Frank was bisexual began to circulate this week after a post went up on the blog This Is Max. The blog referenced lyrics from Frank’s upcoming album, Channel Orange, in claiming that the singer had a penchant for both men and women (It has since been removed.)
Ocean first broke through at the top of 2011 with the release of his free Internet album Nostalgia, Ultra. The LP was marked by its honest and soul-baring songwriting, including and tragic love songs like “Novacane,” “Swim Good” and the Eagles-remake “American Wedding,” and quickly made Frank a breakout star in the rambunctious Odd Future crew. Jay-Z, Kanye West and Beyoncé sought out his pen, and by the end of last year, Ocean had appeared on Watch the Throne and written “I Miss You” for Bey’s 4 album. Because the emotive Ocean only sang overtly about heterosexual relationships, his sexuality had never come into question. That is, until a BBC 1 Xtra writer posted an early review of Channel Orange on her personal blog a few days ago, noting that on the songs “Bad Religion,” “Pink Matter” and “Forrest Gump,” the singer used pronouns like “him” instead of “her.”
Channel Orange is slated for a July 17 release.