Rap singer Frank Ocean says his first love was a man
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer Frank Ocean, a rising star who is part of the rap collective Odd Future, has revealed online that his first love was a man, an admission of same-sex attraction that is seen as groundbreaking for the world of hip hop.
Ocean late on Tuesday posted on Twitter a link to his writings on his Tumblr blog page that described his coming to terms with his sexual orientation. But he did not specifically call himself gay.
The post, which music mogul Russell Simmons called courageous and a "big day" for hip hop, came as Ocean faced rumors about his sexuality due to content on his forthcoming album, "Channel Orange," that one reviewer pointed out had love-themed lyrics with the word "him" instead of "her."
The posting by Ocean also followed the disclosure on Monday by CNN journalist Anderson Cooper that he is gay.
Hip hop has often faced criticism for being hostile to gays. Last year, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation singled out Tyler, The Creator - a rap star whose real name is Tyler Gregory Okonma and who leads Odd Future - for lyrics GLAAD said were derogatory toward homosexuals.
In the 24-year-old Ocean's post on Tuesday, he described meeting a young man four summers ago.
"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," Ocean wrote.
"... Until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him," he added.
The post goes on to describe the relationship as Ocean's "first love," although he said he had other relationships with women. He described how he told the young man his feelings for him, but the man did not admit to similar feelings until years later.
Hip hop producer Simmons, in a post on his website Global Grind, called Ocean's admission courageous.
"Today is a big day for hip-hop," Simmons wrote. "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?"
The text of Ocean's post is described as having been written in December 2011. In a preface post on his Tumblr page, Ocean said he had originally intended to include the note in the "thank you" section of the credits for his "Channel Orange" album, which is due to be released on July 17.
Ocean's hit songs include "Novacane" and "Swim Good."