Frank Ocean, originally from New Orleans, began his early career as a ghost for artists such as Brandy, Justin Bieber, and John Legend.
In 2010, he became a member of alternative hip hop collective OFWGKTA, and his debut mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, was released the following year to critical acclaim. He released two singles: “Novacane” and “Swim Good”, which both achieved chart success. The mixtape gained the interest of recording artists such as Kanye West, Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z, and he consequently appeared on West and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne album.
His debut studio album, Channel Orange was released in July 2012 exclusively on iTunes, one week ahead of its scheduled full release. The album was promoted with three charting singles: “Thinkin Bout You,” “Pyramids,” and “Sweet Life.” Ocean wrote an open letter, intended for the liner notes on Channel Orange, that would preemptively address “speculation about his same-sex attractions,”he instead blogged it on Tumblr. Ocean became one of the first major African American music artists to announce that he had fallen in love with someone of the same sex, notable because the industry is known for expressions of homophobia.