Russell Simmons praises Frank Ocean
Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons praised R&B singer Frank Ocean's admission that he once fell in love with a man.
Ocean, a 24-year-old R&B star, member of the hip-hop collective Odd Future and a songwriter that's written songs for Beyonce and Justin Bieber, posted a poetic and highly personal statement on his Tumblr page early on Wednesday (July 4) in which he reminisces about falling in love with a man that didn't return his affections:
"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."
Ocean posted the statement after critics that attended playbacks of his new album Channel Orange noted that some of the love songs were addressed to "him" and began speculating about his sexuality. Although he has not bluntly stated that he identifies as gay or bisexual, that hasn't stopped other artists and fans from showing their support.
Writing on his website Global Grind that "today is a big day for hip-hop," Simmons called Ocean's admission a game changer.
"I am profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean," he wrote. "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."
Read Frank Ocean's statement here.
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