If you kept yourself plugged into Twitter over the July 4 holiday, it was hard to miss the news that R&B phenom Frank Ocean had come out about his sexuality, explaining on his Tumblr page that his first love was a man. Ocean wrote: “4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide.”
The announcement comes two weeks before Ocean’s new album, “Channel Orange,” is set to drop. But rumors about Ocean’s sexuality had already been flying after those who had heard the album noticed that some of the album’s love songs mentioned “him” instead of “her.” Ocean wrote on his Tumblr: “With all the rumors going round.. i figured it’d be good to clarify.”
“Channel Orange” will be Ocean’s major label debut, but his adventurous brand of R&B started making waves more than a year ago. He gained notoriety as a member of the L.A. hip-hop collective Odd Future, his self-released “Nostalgia, Ultra” album was one of 2011’s best, he sang the most profound hook on Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Watch the Throne” album, and his silky voice even managed to chill out the moshers at an Odd Future gig at the Rock & Roll Hotel last spring.
Ocean performs at the 9:30 Club on July 23.