Frank Ocean Pens Touching Tribute to Prince: ‘It’s Bigger Than Death’
Prince's untimely death has elicited an outpouring of support from friends, fans and famous figures alike. But one of the most touching tributes to emerge thus far was written by Frank Ocean, an artist who's remained frustratingly elusive since the release of his 2012 album Channel Orange.
In his post, Ocean touches on Prince’s larger-than-life persona, which was intimidating even for an artist as critically acclaimed and respected as Ocean. He also elaborates on Prince’s vast catalog of work, his specific brand of self-assuredness and his immense artistry.
But perhaps the most touching part of the post takes place around the halfway mark, when Ocean admits that Prince’s total disregard for gender norms helped him come to terms with his own sexuality.
Read Frank Ocean’s full tribute to Prince below.
I’m not even gonna say rest in peace because it’s bigger than death. I never met the man (I was too nervous the one time I saw him) and I never saw him play live, regrettably. I only know the legends I’ve heard from folks and what I’ve heard and seen from his deep catalog of propellant, fearless, virtuosic work.
My assessment is that he learned early on how little value to assign to someone else's opinion of you…an infectious sentiment that seemed soaked into his clothes, his hair, his walk, his guitar and his primal scream. He wrote my favorite song of all time, "When You Were Mine." It's a simple song with a simple melody that makes you wish you thought of it first, even though you never would have — a flirtatious brand of genius that feels approachable.
He was a straight black man who played his first televised set in bikini bottoms and knee high heeled boots, epic. He made me feel more comfortable with how I identify sexually simply by his display of freedom from and irreverence for obviously archaic ideas like gender conformity etc. He moved me to be more daring and intuitive with my own work by his demonstration — his denial of the prevailing model … His fight for his intellectual property — "SLAVE" written across the forehead, name changed to a symbol…An all out rebellion against exploitation.
A vanguard and genius by every metric I know of who affected many in a way that will outrun oblivion for a long while. I'm proud to be a Prince fan(stan) for life.
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