Last year, Frank Ocean released his 'Nostalgia Ultra' mixtape, via his Tumblr page. Details on the artists were few and far between. In some ways, he traded on his anonymity. Now, in 2012, that anonymity has been blown wide open, as Frank made headlines last week (just ahead of the release of his Def Jam debut, 'Channel Orange'). News of his coming out as bisexual spread like wildfire across the internet, introducing the name 'Frank Ocean' to thousands of music fans who perhaps had not heard the name - or indeed, his music - before.
With seemingly little effort from his record label (aside from some private listening sessions, MTV reports, and a commercial aired during the Bet awards), the Odd Future affiliate's 'Channel Orange' shot to the top of the iTunes chart yesterday (July 10, 2012) within hours of its release. It's hard to imagine that a conventional record label marketing campaign could have been as effective as Ocean's decision to reveal the truth about his sexuality.
In a world where people assume black males in the hip-hop community to be heterosexual, his admission that he's not one of them seems to have worked wonders for his album sales. Whether or not the confession was a calculated move in order to attract attention, will remain a subject for debate and speculation. What will be harder to deny, though, is that Frank's surge in popularity can be attributed to his open statement about his sexuality.