How One Rapper's Revelation Might Change The Hip-Hop Community
Jul 10, 2012 15:39
Now that Odd Future member Frank Ocean has officially gone public about being gay/bisexual, members of hip-hop's elite have decided to show their support to the rising R&B star.
Back in July 9th, Ocean shared his personal tale of unrequited love on tumblr (although he never officially said he was gay). The whole thing is worth the read, but here's a few highlights:
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...
Following his reveal, some wondered if it would damage his reputation among the hip-hop community, who are notorious for their gay-bashing lyrics. It was Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons who paved the way, writing in a short blog post, "The Courage of Frank Ocean Just Changed the Game," and called it "Today is a big day for hip-hop."
It is a day that will define who we really are. How compassionate will we be? How loving can we be? How inclusive are we?
And the wave of support continued with hip-hop royalty Beyonce and Jay-Z joining in praising Ocean for his braveness. Beyoncé, whose track “I Miss You” was written by Ocean, posted the above pic of Ocean to her site over the weekend along with a poem that reads:
Be fearless / Be honest / Be generous / Be brave / Be poetic / Be open / Be free / Be yourself / Be in love / Be happy / Be inspiration.
Hubby Jay-Z then added a powerful missive to Ocean (penned by dream hampton) on his site:
We admire the great courage and beauty and fearlessness in your coming out, not only as a bisexual Black man, but as a broken hearted one. The tender irony that your letter is to a boy who was unable to return your love until years later because he was living a lie is the only truly tragic detail about your letter.