Beyoncé Writes A Poem For Frank Ocean, While New York Rapper Calls Him “Coward”

Sasha Fierce took a moment to congratulate Frank Ocean, who wrote her track “I Miss You”, for coming out: She posted the above photo and “poem” on her website.

Okay, it’s not Byron, but its a nice gesture nonetheless.

The stars of hip-hop and R&B have really rallied behind Ocean: In addition to support from Tyler, the Creator, Ocean has received kind words from Russell Simmons, Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z, who said he admired his “great courage and beauty and fearlessness” in coming out.

Whether Ocean’s revelation changes the homophobic undercurrent in hip-hop music, we’ll just have to wait and see.

One artist who’s not singing his praises is rapper Mysonne, a rising star on Def Jam in the late 90s until he landed behind bars. Mysonne is calling out Ocean, not for being gay but for his “deceit” and for playing on his sexuality to score publicity for his new album, Channel Orange.

Yesterday Mysonne tweeted:

“i think these n***as is cowards that looking for exposure and buzzes, so they wait til albums drop to tell you there true Sexuality.”

“Never mind that you’ve built a career off of obvious deceit and false hood, but people say its ok cuz he can sing. What happen to integrity?”

“What happened to judging a man by his character. There are no more boundaries or rules and this is why Suckas can Rule!”

“the fact that he’s gay means nothing to me and had he been real and i still liked his music i would support him, But fake shit is fake shit!”

It’s hard to deny Ocean timed his announcement to the release of Channel Orange. But given the immensity of his coming out, we’re inclined to give him a pass. What say you, Queerty readers? Is Ocean a sucka or not?

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  • Seamus

    I think there is some truth to the idea that artists should have the integrity to be honest from the onset, but I don’t blame Ocean for being closeted in such a hostile industry. That being said, while I am not appalled, I’m not exactly thrilled that he timed his coming out, if you want to call it that, to occur with the release of his album. It’s far too convenient.

  • randy

    So he’s a coward for not confronting the enormously homophobic machine of hip hop right from the outset? And he’s a coward because he released an album just when he’s coming out? And he can’t ever self=promote?

    what a jerk Mysonne is. Sounds like someone is jealous of his success.

  • Daez

    How can someone be a coward just because they promote their self-interests? If hip-hop was not dominated by homophobes, their would be no reason to hide in the first place.

  • mc

    His music was his coming out so it would have always been tied to when he released it. He wrote a couple of songs on it about his male lover and on his liner notes he wrote the note thanking him. He scanned that note and put it on his Tumblr acct when people started asking him if he was gay or bi.

    A writer for BBC on her blog This is Max, started this all by praising Frank for being open about his sexuality on his latest CD. Other blogs picked up the story & people started asking if he was gay or bi. If that hadn’t happened I think he would have waited for the cd to come out on July 17th before saying anything.

    It’s easy for Mysonne to criticize now & play Monday morning quarterback about what Frank should or should not have done. Right now Frank Ocean’s music is sitting at #1 on Itunes but his long term future in music has not been written out. I’ve seen enough pure homophobic rage written about him including statements like he should burn or someone should kill him, to know this will not be as easy for him as people are trying to make it out to be.

    So he got a publicity boost out of this–I say great for him. I hope he does really well & pave the way for others to come out.

  • VAb

    His coming out probably was influenced by the release of his album and fact that first song talks about his love for a man. Whatever the motive, his coming out can have an adverse affect on his album sales. Remember – this industry and some listeners have a tendency of being homophobic.

  • Codswallop

    What MC and VAB said. If his sexuality was separate from his music this fool might have a point but that’s not the case. He came out THROUGH his music by using the pronouns he/him instead of the expected (even from gay artists) she/her. Reviewers with advance copies of the album noticed it and started talking about it, so of course his album release and coming out happened at the same time!

    Ocean appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show the other night, his first national solo TV appearance, and sang “Bad Religion,” which is one of the more explicitly gay songs since it talks about unrequited love for a man. Given the attention his coming out has garnered Fallon’s people may have requested that song, but no matter how you slice it it’s pretty bold for him to sing that song for his first time on TV. He’s not shying away from it or trying to minimize it.

  • Codswallop

    Oh, and if what Beyonce wrote is a “poem,” my grocery lists are enduring works of everlasting genius.

  • Roxorz

    That is similar to the comment I made about ocean on the last post. Timing is interesting…that is all. It’s also interesting though to see some websites call him gay, some call him bi. Has frank even really stated? His first love was a man but does that mean he will ever love another man?

  • Jonathonz

    We’ve come a long way if coming out of the closet at the same time that your album comes out is considered a good advertising move.

  • Jeff

    I’m really surprised, disappointed, and disgusted with how Queerty is reporting this story and I’m trying to figure out why you all have taken this tone of disbelief and questioning the integrity of Frank Ocean’s open letter. Would you prefer he wore a rainbow and went to pride?

    I just don’t get this story about it being a publicity stunt and I don’t find it valid or worth reporting. Instead I find it insidious. Do you really think Frank Ocean wrote that letter to sell more albums…really? If so you need ask yourself where those beliefs come from.

    I think you’re missing the story here because you have limited perceptive on the world beyond your agenda. I’m queer and I’m a person of color and I know how monumental this is for other young queer person’s of color who grow up listening to hip-hop and R&B desperately searching for a reflection of themselves…there’s your damn story, report that.

  • Caleb

    Who is Mysonne and why is he even relevant? I think Mysonne would be better served if he learned proper English and actually tried to articulate a coherent point.

  • Roxorz

    @Jeff: Let’s be real tho, almost nothing in “Hollywood” isn’t calculated these days. I’m open to the fact that his poem could have just been a response to the whispers and had no PR behind it. But the truth is frank oceans profile increased tenfold after this poem came out and other celebrities were praising him.I don’t think it’s a malicious statement to wonder if, had he waited to release the poem say a month after the album released, the album would have garnered much less press and sales?

  • Blah, bla..huh?

    ““i think these n***as is cowards that looking for exposure and buzzes, so they wait til albums drop to tell you there true Sexuality.”
    “Never mind that you’ve built a career off of obvious deceit and false hood, but people say its ok cuz he can sing. What happen to integrity?”
    “What happened to judging a man by his character. There are no more boundaries or rules and this is why Suckas can Rule!”
    “the fact that he’s gay means nothing to me and had he been real and i still liked his music i would support him, But fake shit is fake shit!””

    I think there’s an important point in there…What did happen to someone who implies their heterosexuality as embodying some standard of ethics? They used to be convincing sometimes. This guy here clearly has none. The straight “entitlement” assumption that he’s “better” and “braver” makes it obvious reading his missive that there isn’t anything remotely integral that he would ever say. It’s like hetero men have to be evil, back-biting, hater manbitch figures when you listen to “arguments” like his.

  • mc

    @Roxorz the ‘poem’ as you call it was going to be a part of the CD when released. It was in the album sleeve in the Thank you section.

    The moment anyone got the CD and listened to one of the songs, like Bad Religion where he talks about his feelings for a man, people would have questioned it. The moment he included those songs public questions about it would have been inevitable & no one would have waited for a month after its release to get answers.

    It’s also not Frank Ocean’s fault that people like this Mysonne character just ASSUMED Frank was straight. I’ll borrow this telling comment someone wrote from the link: “dude is just mad he was enjoying a gay guy’s music this whole time w/o knowing.”

  • cam

    “the fact that he’s gay means nothing to me””

    Really Mysonne, because you sure sound pissed about it.

    Additionally, I’m sorry, but if the guy wouldn’t have been given a record deal, or gotten anybody to hear his music if he was out, calling him out as a liar is stupid.

    He came out the second he could without risking his record not being released. I think this is a huge step from what we used to get, which was just rumors after somebody died, or more lately, or after that, people coming out when their careers were basically over.

    Good for Ocean.

  • Belize

    @Jeff: “I just don’t get this story about it being a publicity stunt and I don’t find it valid or worth reporting.”

    Perhaps your broad perception of the world outside the queer agenda has allowed you to find a dictionary. Maybe you can look up the meanings of the words “publicity” and “stunt.” After that, perhaps you can equate that info with the fact that Ocean came out near the period when he released his new album… when he could’ve come out anytime his boss Tyler the Creator was being criticized for homophobia.

    If that’s too much info for you to take, then maybe your perception is so broad that you can’t pick up the details. In which case, good luck in life. LOL.

  • Belize

    I can’t read Mysonne’s statements without getting a headache. Ugh. Next.

  • Belize

    @VAb: Well, let’s not forget the number of homo-centric people who will buy the album–even though they’ve never heard of Ocean–for the sake of solidarity. It’s their “do-good” deed for the year to show how much of an ally the area.

  • rrr

    Built a career off deceit? WTF, what an asshole. This is Ocean’s FIRST solo album. So when was this career of deceit supposed to have taken place, when Ocean was penning songs for Justin Beiber and Beyonce?

    Mysonne is just bitter and jealous that Ocean has been getting publicity.

  • Baba Booey

    I sense a hint of jealousy coming from the “coward” comment.

  • Codswallop

    Whether Frank Ocean is bi or gay is up to him, but to me what he wrote seemed pretty damn gay. It was basically “I had been with women and thought I knew what it was all about, then I fell in love with a man and felt emotions I never knew existed.”

    What I *don’t* get is people saying “Yeah, but that was 4 years ago and he didn’t say anything about being gay or bi now.” Umm, OK, I guess it’s *possible* that an otherwise straight guy who had a totally out-of-the-blue crush on a guy would still be talking about it 4 years later and even write songs about it for his debut album and come out about it publicly, but that doesn’t seem very likely, now does it?

  • Tel

    I really believe that this letter to his first love was instinctual at the time. The lyrics in his songs don’t exactly imply closeted behavior. I think rather than a “yep, I’m gay!” Admission a’la Ellen, he chose a more eloquent and personal approach to addressing the “gay suspicions” surrounding him as a new artist. Hip hop at that! I just hope this paves the way for some of the immense talent to emerge from the underground hip hop scene. There are openly gay artists( though mostly female) whom I suspect haven’t made it big due to this fact. Maybe Frank’s story will inspire change in this regard. I sure hope so bc I’m tired of

    hearing s**t like: “these ni**as is rainbows, ta
    ke it in the anal”. This nonsense has to end!

  • Tel

    Btw.. Mysonne, you should thank queerty and Frank for putting you on the map bc frankly, I’d never heard of you before today.

  • asa1973

    Ugh. I’m so sick of hearing about the “perfect timing” for celebrities’ coming out. So much has already been said in this thread in support of his coming out and the timing of it.

    May I just say, though, that many of us “time” our coming out for our own self interest’s sake. I did not come out to my parents until I was 100% financially dependent on myself. It was my 3rd year in college. I had my own job, my own apartment, I had taken out student loans under my name for the remaining two years of school (they could no longer afford it). I knew that if I came out while still being supported by them, they might have threatened to stop paying for school unless I went to therapy or something.

    Many people make a decision not to come out at a job until they feel the time is right…even though that job has been supplying their pay check. Are those people cowards or opportunists?? The man decided to use his art to show and tell who he is – at a HUGE risk to his finances and his sales. That’s not cowardly. It’s brave. And it’s a major risk. And we should get behind him and support him for taking this critical step in the world of R&B/Hip Hop while he is still a part of that world. Think of all the ex-pro athletes who were closeted during their career and came out much later. If we celebrate them, we definitely need to celebrate Frank Ocean.

  • Max the Communist

    @asa1973: Thank you for a fresh breathe of sanity. Frank Ocean is not trying to get your attention. He put his homoerotic experience into his art and put it out there for all the world to hear. None of that promises great sales in a notoriously hypermasculine and homophobic environment.

  • Kim

    Well he is going to lose more fans than he gains.some Gays may buy record but I doubt many will attend his concerts.Artists make money from touring

  • Scribe37

    @Jeff: @mc: Thank you brothers for having some damn sense in your posts. I don’t understand people hating on Ocean (same people calling blacks homophobic in other postS). There is a gay-black hip hop star that is out and being supported by other hip hop stars and people are questioning him for no reason. The same people who called on Cooper to come out openly for years, but why would anyone want to if this is what they receive from queerty and it’s readers when they do?

  • james_from_cambridge

    Some of you are missing the point; this is NOT just another Hollywood celeb coming out just when he/she happens to have a project to promote. This is a hip-hop artist telling a notoriously homophobic (and simultaneously homoerotic) section of the entertainment industry that he’s a gay man. Hollywood (and even the rest of the country) is far more accepting of us than those involved in the hip-hop subsection of the music industry and he really is putting his career on the line by coming out. I have nothing but respect for the man.

  • Honey

    Gongrats to frank but mysonne is not spouting off nonsense. Mr. Ocean did leverage his sales by coming out

  • ThirdofJuly

    I like that the three people listed thanking Frank Ocean for being so courageous are all suspected of being closeted. Russell Simmons is barely closeted, but Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes would have a harder time coming out since they are established. Hopefully this will lead the way for them to come out as well.
    And who cares if it was a publicity stunt or not. When Chely Wright did it, she was putting out an album, but that doesn’t change the fact that she was one of the first to crack the closet of country singers.

  • UsualPlayers

    I love how the arguments about deceit and publicity stunt depends on certain assumptions: (1) his career could not have been torpedoed by announcing his sex interest in men, (2) that he is a well established artist rather than one launching his first album; and (3) that kid this young was not struggling with his sexual identity and is only now willing to talk about it WHILE HE”S STILL YOUNG rather than after he’s a has-been. I guess every big chance someone takes like this can be seen as a publicity stunt and deceitful now.

    Can anyone even remember a year ago? How about a couple of months ago when Adam Lambert said the industry would not accept an openly gay musician?

    You know times are changing when coming out as gay is now considered a way to sell records rather than torpedoing a career.

  • Mario

    @Codswallop: what you said!!! I was thinkin the same thing

  • n900mixalot

    Hollywood doesn’t let anything get out unless it is a calculated move. I thought the NY rapper person was really going in on the guy and being homophobic, he is just being honest.

    Sorry gays, but this Frank Ocean thing is a calculated move, 100%. I’m not an Adam Lambert fan but I respect him far more than some closet-case opportunist with stars in his eyes.


  • UsualPlayers

    @n900mixalot: If you say so Jason

  • Jeff

    @Belize: @Belize: perhaps you can look-up “dez nuts” in your dictionary…just a thought.

  • Jeff

    @Belize: you really have an inflated sense of self worth. You might want to get that checked out. You speak on things with such authority and doubt if you even understand the context. His album was going to do well regardless. You might not understand or relate to his music but he has a pretty strong following and he’s talented. But when are minds are small we often sometimes can’t see our ass in front face…i see you suffer from this dilemma, bless your poor self important soul.

  • Jeff

    @Kim: actually his tour sold out last I checked

  • Dionte

    The fact that he sung bad religion on national tv takes away any notion of cowardness in my opinion. I like his album, it’s good music.

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