It’s been a big week for R&B star Frank Ocean. On Wednesday, he posted a letter to his Tumblr account in which he described falling in love with another man. Though he stopped short of labeling himself as either “gay” or “bisexual,” the admission was widely heralded as a huge step forward for hip-hop.
Monday on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” Ocean had a coming-out of another kind: his first television performance. There’s been a considerable amount of critical buzz about Ocean in recent weeks, and after his “Late Night” appearance, it’s not hard to see why.
After an enthused intro from Fallon, Ocean performed his song “Bad Religion,” which chronicles his unrequited love for another man. Although Ocean was backed by eight string musicians and “Late Night’s” house band, the Roots, there was a stripped-down, emotionally raw quality to his performance. It was riveting.
To add to the palpable sense of excitement surrounding the young singer, Ocean also surprised fans by making his much-hyped new album, “Channel Orange,” available for download via iTunes, a week before its originally slated release of July 17. It’s currently sitting in the No. 1 spot.