R&B artist Frank Ocean of the hip hop group Odd Future came out on Wednesday and the hip hop community is showing their support. Ocean, who has written songs for Justin Bieber, John Legend, and Beyoncé, came out on his blog stating:
“4 summer ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost.” Stating that this was his first love, and though that same love was not reciprocated back after he shared his feelings with him back when he was 19, Ocean continues, “I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alrite. I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore… 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… I feel like a free man. If I listen closely… I can hear the sky falling too.”
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The Huffington Post also reported that this news comes just days after a review of Ocean’s upcoming “Channel Orange” album claimed the singer “[opens] up about his sexuality on the album” and noted that “…on the songs ‘Bad Religion’ ‘Pink Matter and ‘Forrest Gump’ you can hear him sing about being in love and there are quite obvious words used like ‘him’ and not ‘her’.”
The hip hop community has already started showing Ocean support. One of the first was Odd Future’s rapper, Tyler the Creator, who did so via Twitter to congratulate Ocean saying he was proud of him, in his own way. Russell Simmons, Def Jam Records co-founder, also applauded the brave action by Ocean to discuss his same-sex first love given the history of homophobia in hip-hop.
In a post entitled “The Courage of Frank Ocean Just Changed the Game!” Simmons wrote, “Today is a big day for hip-hop. It is a day that will define who we really are…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”