Click almost anywhere online today and you’ll most likely scan a name previously unknown to the masses: Frank Ocean. The R&B singer and oldest member of controversial-rap-crew Odd Future, released his album Channel Orange today on iTunes.
Normally, for an artist like Ocean (read: Not Bieber), this isn’t enough of a feat to get yourself plastered across Twitter’s Trending Topics and over 20,000 notes on Tumblr. But after rumors emerged from early listenings of the album that Ocean uses male pronouns instead of the expected female ones, the singer himself took to his Tumblr to describe how he once, indeed, fell in love with a man.
Thankfully, after the singer shared these details with the Internet, a firestorm of support arose.
Haters gonna hate (and they definitely did), but when Ocean released his album over a week early on iTunes, it immediately shot to #1 and has remained there throughout the day. A site called “Hate Tweets to Frank Ocean” even appeared, scouring Twitter for hateful tweets at the singer and encouraging fans to @reply “with some <3”:
Some people have chosen to write vicious, disgusting replies to Mr. Ocean’s letter of love. This, frankly, cannot stand. So go ahead and reply them with one simple, universal message: all that matters is *that* you love and show that in the end, love conquers all.
When you choose to @reply, an automated tweet is suggested: “It’s not who you love - it’s *that* you love that truly matters.” And while hateful tweeters continue on (and despite the tweets, some seem to have still bought the album) they’re definitely taking notice. A featured tweeter, @rCavarli, wrote: “im getting tweets like every second cos of this fag argh!”
Ocean himself seems flattered by the retweets, reblogs and bountiful GIF. He tweeted “life is something else” soon after his debut on The Late Show With Jimmy Fallon and the album’s release. And faux Frank Ocean Twitter accounts have been popping up, making supportive (yet fictional) statements that fans seem to want the singer himself to make One of the, @frank_ocean_ , tweeted: “I wonder what the world would be like if there was no discrimination.”
Ocean's solo debut is well worth the hype. His unrequited love, be it male or female, resonates throughout his album--heartache has never sounded so lovely. Turns out, a surprisingly honest note—blogged so appropriately on Independence Day, no less—paved the way to some smart marketing and a deservingly perfect debut.
Photo via Frank Ocean