Prince: Frank Ocean breaks silence to pay tribute: ‘A vanguard and a genius by every metric’

'He made me feel more comfortable with how I identify sexually'

Christopher Hooton
Friday 22 April 2016 08:15
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Frank Ocean has been quiet of late, presumably working on his new album, but he returned to Tumblr last night to pay tribute to ‘vanguard and genius’ Prince.

Given the soulfulness of Frank’s work, it was unsurprising to learn he was a huge fan, and the message he wrote was incredibly eloquent and touching, discussing Prince's music, fashion, sexuality and approach to art.

Here it is in full:

'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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