Frank Ocean is among the countless artists who have been inspired by Prince, who tragically passed away today at age 57. Ocean has taken to Tumblr to pay homage to the Purple One, who has had such a massive impact on the music industry.
In the heartfelt essay, Ocean expresses the magnitude of Prince’s influence on his career despite missing the opportunity to meet the music icon. “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.”
“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.”
The poignant letter also details how Ocean looked up to Prince’s disinterest in conformity and approval of others, noting that it was the driving factor behind his own musical exploration, and acceptance of his sexual identity. He specifically applauded the bikini bottom shorts and high heeled boots worn during Prince’s “epic” first televised performance. From the post, readers take away a clearer understanding of just how vital Prince was to music and modern day. It’s nearly impossible to sum up, but Frank Ocean does it well: a vanguard and genius by every metric.
Read the full statement below:
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 Prince Fan(Stan) for life.”