Jay-Z Expresses Support For Frank Ocean Over Sexuality
Dream Hampton, hip-hop journalist and co-author of Jay-Z’s Decoded book, wrote an incredibly touching letter commending Frank’s braveness for revealing the truth about his sexual preference – that he fell in love with a man when he was 19.
Frank and Jay-Z have a close friendship since the 24-year-old singer lent his vocals to the rapper’s Watch The Throne album with Kanye West.
Titled: Thank You, Frank Ocean, Dream’s lengthy letter reads:
“It’s true, we are a lot alike… “spinning on blackness. All wanting to be seen, touched, heard, paid attention to.” In your opening few lines, you simultaneously established your humanity, a burden far too often asked of same sex lovers, and acknowledged that in this age of hyper self- awareness, amplified in no small part by the social media medium in which you made your announcement, we are desperate to share.”
“You shared one of the most intimate things that ever happened to you – falling in love with someone who wasn’t brave enough to love you back. Your relieving yourself of your “secret” is as much about wanting to honestly connect as it is about exhibition. We are all made better by your decision to share publicly.”
“You and Anderson Cooper have the same coming out calendar week in common, but in many obvious ways, you couldn’t be more different…You are a young Black man from New Orleans who fled your still struggling city. You didn’t arrive in Los Angeles with generational wealth and privilege, only the beautiful lyrics and melodies that danced through you and your dream of making it in a music industry whose sand castles were crumbling.”
“You fulfill hip-hop’s early promise to not give a fuck about what others think of you. The 200 times Tyler says “faggot” and the wonderful way he held you up and down on Twitter today, Syd the Kid’s sexy stud profile and her confusing, misogynistic videos speak to the many contradictions and posturing your generation inherited from the hip-hop generation before you.”
Dream then goes on to mention the fact that Queen Latifah, who has long been rumoured to be a lesbian, recently attended a Gay Pride festival but went out of her way to deny she was “coming out.”
“Only last month Queen Latifah unnecessarily released a statement denying that her performing at a Gay Pride event meant she was finally affirming her identity for thousands of Black girls. Imagine if Luther had been able to write, as you closed your letter, “I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore…I feel like a free man.”
“But you’re not an activist. You’re a Black man in America whose star is on the rise, working in hip-hop and soul, where gender constructs are cartoonishly fixed. Your colleague Drake is often attacked with homophobic slurs when he simply displays vulnerability in his music.”
“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 love until years later because he was living a lie is the only truly tragic thing about your letter. A million twirls on this spinning ocean blue globe in this vast endless blackness for you my love.”
Dream reveals that moments after sending her close friend Jay-Z the letter, he immediately posted the piece in its entirety on his LifeAndTimes website.
“When I emailed Jay-Z my open letter to @frank_ocean he put it on his site in minutes. That’s love. Over your shoulder is an army of love…”