In 2012, Frank Ocean wrote a letter on Tumblr in which he revealed his sexuality to the world, and in his heartfelt letter to Prince, Frank mentioned that Prince’s fearlessness gave him the courage to accept his sexual identity. Frank also mentioned Prince’s 1980 song “When You Were Mine,” which he credits as inspiration for him as a singer/songwriter.
Frank Ocean writes:
“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.“
Hopefully, Prince will inspire Frank Ocean to finish up his long-delayed sophomore album.