It’s been a matter of months since Frank Ocean dropped one of the most memorable albums of the year with Channel Orange, a concisely constructed compilation of 15 tracks that brought recognition of his musical genius to new heights.
But bigger than Channel Orange was the letter that Frank Ocean revealed on July 4th, admitting to the world that he once loved a man and that very man was the inspiration for his tracks on the album. The industry hasn’t been the same since.
Frank never revealed his status as gay, homosexual, or straight. He only revealed that he once loved a man, and left the world pondering.
In one of his most revealing interviews, Frank Ocean sat down to talk with GQ about everything from his sexuality, to the box he refuses to be put in due to his preference in relations.
Check out some excerpts from the interview below:
His thoughts on posting The Letter:
The night I posted it, I cried like a fucking baby. It was like all the frequency just clicked to a change in my head. All the receptors were now receiving a different signal, and I was happy. I hadn’t been happy in so long. I’ve been sad again since, but it’s a totally different take on sad. There’s just some magic in truth and honesty and openness.
Did you worry it would derail your career?
I had those fears. In black music, we’ve got so many leaps and bounds to make with acceptance and tolerance in regard to that issue. It reflects something just ingrained, you know.
When I was growing up, there was nobody in my family—not even my mother—who I could look to and be like, “I know you’ve never said anything homophobic.” So, you know, you worry about people in the business who you’ve heard talk that way. Some of my heroes coming up talk recklessly like that. It’s tempting to give those views and words— that ignorance—more attention than they deserve. Very tempting. Some people said, “He’s saying he fell in love with a guy for hype.” As if that’s the best hype you can get in hip-hop or black music.
So I knew that if I was going to say what I said, it had to be in concert with one of the most brilliant pieces of art that has come out in my generation. And that’s what I did. Why can I say that? Why I don’thave to affect all this humility and shit is because I worked my ass off. I worked my face off. And the part that you love the most is the easiest part for me. So I’ll do it again.
So do you consider yourself bisexual?
You can move to the next question. I’ ll respectfully say that life is dynamic and comes along with dynamic experiences, and the same sentiment that I have towards genres of music, I have towards a lot of labels and boxes and shit. I’m in this business to be creative—I’ll even diminish it and say to be a content provider.
One of the pieces of content that I’m for fuck sure not giving is porn videos. I’m not a centerfold. I’m not trying to sell you sex. People should pay attention to that in the letter: I didn’t need to label it for it to have impact. Because people realize everything that I say is so relatable, because when you’re talking about romantic love, both sides in all scenarios feel the same shit.
As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences. But just take what I give you. You ain’t got to pry beyond that. I’m giving you what I feel like you can feel. The other shit, you can’t feel. You can’t feel a box. You can’t feel a label. Don’t get caught up in that shit. There’s so much something in life. Don’t get caught up in the nothing. That shit is nothing, you know? It’s nothing. Vanish the fear.
Frank is an inspiring gift to hip-hop right now. Be sure to check out more on Frank Ocean over at GQ.