Frank Ocean effect: What happens when a hip hop artist confesses same sex love?
Frank Ocean performs at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at The Empire Polo in Indio, California.
July 5th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Frank Ocean effect: What happens when a hip hop artist confesses same sex love?

by Lisa Respers France, CNN

(CNN) - "Today is a big day for hip hop."

When music impresario Russell Simmons penned those words and posted them Wednesday, he was not referring to a new album dropping or the debut of an exciting artist. He was talking about a male artist's admission that his first love was a man.

"I am profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean," Simmons wrote on the site Global Grind. "Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear."

Ocean, an up-and-coming R&B singer, recently posted on his Tumblr that the summer he was 19 years old he fell in love with a man.

"We spent that summer, and the summer after, together," Ocean wrote. "Every day almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I'd see him, and his smile.

"Sleep I would often share with him," Ocean continued. "By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with."

The revelation is significant given that it is unheard of in hip hop for male performers to admit to anything other than hardcore heterosexuality and all of the bravado that comes along with many female conquests.

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. James Garcia

    I don't know why everyone is hating on his music. I loved "Get outta my dreams and into my car."

    October 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hammerofastraea

    I always knew rap was gay.

    September 28, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jon

    Frank Ocean is not Hip-Hop. Are you people so old you don't know the difference between pop/r&B and Hip-Hop? lol

    September 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • curt

      There all just simple minded... Don't mind the mindless.

      I've never even heard of Frank Ocean

      September 28, 2012 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. The Pied Piper O

    It's election time, so Obama "flip-flops" and now likes gays and gay marriage! Pandering fool. If you vote for him your an even bigger fool for more reasons than I can count.

    September 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gigi

      Seriously? This article is talking about an R&B singer coming out and you bring Obama and politics into this? How are they even related, other than the gay-advocacy part? Chill and take your partisan opinions away to the political section of CNN.

      October 1, 2012 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. ryan

    I like his music.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nathanael George

    This is not hip hop used to be .
    but I don't know where are we headed .

    July 11, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Padriac

    This is truly amazing to me. It takes a lot of courage to do what he did, especially with the level of media attention he knew he would receive on the subject. As a fan, i feel proud to know that i listen to someone who is not afraid of what others think, and would rather be happy and honest instead of living a lie to avoid unwanted negative attention from simple minded people.

    July 8, 2012 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
    • k

      really?...who cares. Straight, gay, black white...who cares.

      July 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Shane

        I agree, who cares!

        July 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • PM

        Yes that's exactly what the world needs to be like, "who cares"! But unfortunately not everyone is like you, and therefore there needs to be media coverage on it until it becomes a "who cares" thing.

        July 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tim Moore

    Lisa I remember back in the day when the Box used to have K Solo & D Nice on autorepeat for hours. Who knew Hip-Hop would ever take it this far. The young people will ultimately save themselves by smashing down these old social constructs and building a more open future. I hope so for their sake.

    July 6, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |