For Frank Ocean, The Tide Is Turning
Life + Style, Jay-Z’s lifestyle website, explores the differences between the public and professional “coming out” of Anderson Cooper and the singer Frank Ocean. In an open letter to the singer, the site writes:
You and Anderson Cooper have the same coming out calendar week in common, but in many obvious ways, you couldn’t be more different. Anderson Cooper is an heir to one of America’s great Industrial Age fortunes and a network professional whose maleness and whiteness backed by his considerable accomplishments guarantee him work. 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.
As a kid growing up in elementary school and high school in San Francisco, hip-hop music dominated the radio. (I’ve already waxed nostalgia on the topic with Ramona Gonzalez of Nite Jewel for the Teenage blog.) It was unfathomable as a teenager to imagine a hip hop star acknowledging an attraction to someone of the same sex. Reading the letter Mr. Ocean posted on Tumblr, and surveying the various reactions from his industry peers, I feel old — in the best way possible.