Love captured in 40 words.
i wouldve thrown mine as well
this kills me.
I won’t touch on risky, because that’s subjective,” he says. “People are just afraid of things too much. Afraid of things that don’t necessarily merit fear. Me putting Nostalgia out … what’s physically going to happen? Me saying what I said on my Tumblr last week? Sure, evil exists, extremism exists. Somebody could commit a hate crime and hurt me. But they could do the same just because I’m black. They could do the same just because I’m American. Do you just not go outside your house? Do you not drive your car because of the statistics? How else are you limiting your life for fear?”
Most things seem to be less of a big deal in the morning. Somehow, this seems even bigger and more important now that the sun is shining and people are awake.
Exactly a week ago I sat in a bar in New York City talking with a friend about writing and basketball and music. We discussed sexuality and the NBA and wondered who the first player would be to come out while playing. I said I wanted it to be a good player, selfishly wanting it to be someone the average fan cared about so that it would make as big of an impact as possible.
I didn’t expect for us to get that moment in music only a week later.
I’m not sure what it is that I feel I want to say. or why I feel that I need to say it. I only know that tapping the keyboard is the only way to keep the tears at bay. Happy tears, though. Proud, thankful, hopeful tears for everyone I knew who had been waiting for a moment like this to happen.
Beautifully brave. Boldly brilliant.
It seems fitting for this to unfold on July 4th. His freedom, his truth.
Late last night we learned something new about the enigmatic, creative and phenomenally talented Ocean. Posting what were originally going to be the liner notes in his upcoming debut album, Ocean shared with us the story of his first love.
In a ridiculously beautiful and poignantly personal TextEdit file written on a flight from New Orleans to Los Angeles on December 27th, 2011, Ocean detailed this truth to us.
At 19 he fell in love for the first time with a friend and after two beautiful summers spent enjoying one another, he had his heart —and his world— broken. The heartbreaker and the first real love of his life was male.
Ocean has become known for that hauntingly beautiful voice that is rich and pure and sweet. His songs are simple, honest, filled with twinges of nostalgia and heaps of perfectly expressed emotion. His style has captured and excited me to a degree I haven’t felt in years. The thing I appreciate the most is that he seems to have only one rule: remaining honest in each experience he shares.
As a young, black, devastatingly handsome man in an industry that still isn’t quite sure how to publicly address, acknowledge or deal with the idea of one man choosing to be with another man, this is a big deal. it’s an important moment. it’s a moment we were moving toward ever since Ocean’s listening parties for his up-coming album allowed people to hear him singing about a man rather than just women.
In his choice to be honest with himself and his life, Ocean has given us a gift that might be bigger than he realizes. He has delivered a lesson in loving ourselves and our journey, wherever it may take us.
When he thanked his first love and laid bare the pain that comes from heartache —something every single one of us can relate to and reflect on— there wasn’t an explanation or justification, there was only a love story. Again, this is important.
To picture a 19 year-old falling in love, not understanding the hows or whys of what he’s feeling for his male friend but choosing to go with it anyway, experiencing a love deeper than he’d ever felt before. Then to hear him detail calmly, precisely, exactly how it feels to have your heart stomped on…there was a lot of power in that post last night.
When he broke down the conclusion of his relationship he said: “I sat there and told my friend how I felt. I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for them, knowing I could never take them back for myself.” My own heart mourned the love that he had been unable to give in the way that he had hoped. How could you feel anything but the ache that lingered in the ever-fading afterglow of a love that had been strong enough to defy all that either party had ever known to be true?
Ocean’s place within Odd Future as a whole is interesting. Syd the Kyd —the beautifully talented, brave and bold female in the group— is also not hiding her sexual preference. Ocean has yet to tell us how he identifies or labels himself, or if he chooses to live by labels at all. In comparison, Syd has done it quietly, but forcefully, appearing with a girlfriend in a music video for Odd Future sub-group The Internet’s single “Cocaine.”
It’s funny how things are different when it is a female with another female. Of course, lesbianism is glorified in popular culture and the idea of two women being physically attracted to one another isn’t shocking for us. We see imagery depicting such every day. In comparison, what Ocean gave us, not just an example of two men being attracted to one another in the physical, primal sense, but of two men being in love, falling in love and staying there for two summers, this is rare.
It’s pretty surreal to watch the bold and brash members of Odd Future making a significant impact on our present and in our culture by being brave enough to be themselves.
The support frontman Tyler the Creator showed to Ocean via his Twitter and Formspring pages over the past day was heartwarming to see. Ocean is his “big brother” and Tyler has made it clear that who he chooses to give his heart or body to doesn’t change that.
It also doesn’t change his music. That sincerity and sanctity of the emotions he so effortlessly croons about while weaving us up and down the roller coaster that is love is still there. Still true. Still honest.
I hope that people see Ocean for who he is: An amazingly talented, deep and introspective 24 year-old man who is brave enough to bare his soul, share his feelings and know that as long as he is okay with his decisions, this is all that matters. There have been a lot of newspapers and web sites to run headlines about Frank Ocean “coming out” or “announcing he is gay.” Neither of these things have happened. At least not yet. Let’s not try to simplify this down to something we do not know. Ocean has not described himself as gay or bisexual, nor has he allowed us to believe that the first love he spoke of was a one-time incident. We don’t know who or what he does behind closed doors. These details do not matter as much as we want them to. What matters is that Ocean remained true to his experience and his own heart and in addition to doing so, chose to be staggeringly brave in choosing to share that experience with us.
Imagine how difficult it must have been to click send on that entry. Imagine him two days after this past Christmas holiday, a striking, burgeoning R&B star seated on a plane with his laptop open, trying to compose the hauntingly honest words we read last night.
“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.”
This is it. In exactly 40 words Ocean summed up what each of us is looking for. What matters in the end. Hell of a writer, isn’t he? Now, imagine how deeply he must love.
There is a Tumblr post dated December 27th, 2011, the day that his liner notes were written. It simply says, “FUCK. THAT WAS HARD TO WRITE. DEC 27TH.”
I cannot express how thankful I am that he did it. For the industry who has been waiting on this, for the children growing up who will need it, for his music to be able to be experienced free of speculation, but above all, for himself.
This is one of those songs I’m not supposed to like. I do. A lot. It also sound a million times better through headphones. Tyler x Frank = happy heart shining through lyrics that make normal people squirm.