Def Jam: Frank Ocean Didn’t Talk Sexuality For Sales

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There are people out there who firmly believe that Frank Ocean’s admission that his first love was a man was solely for the means of promoting his debut studio album, channel ORANGE. Apparently, because being a man who loves a man is all the rage in the worlds of hip-hop and R&B. Never mind the fact that his album was already widely anticipated and was rounding up praise in write-ups about the listening sessions.

For the simpletons who still believer otherwise, a Def Jam exec released a statement that should be convincing but likely won’t to the cynics out there.

Yet, I’m going to share it anyway ‘cause folks need to get it (via Entertainment Weekly):

When asked Sunday night whether Ocean’s semi-coming out affected the album’s marketing plan, Def Jam president Joie Manda told EW in an e-mail, ”Absolutely not.

You have to understand that Frank’s letter last week was in NO WAY intended to impact the marketing of this record. Like all things with Frank, it was a carefully measured, very personal decision.”

Manda said then that the label’s “plans remain the same: to support Frank Ocean’s creativity and artistry and allow him the freedom to continue building the very special relationship he’s cultivated with his fans.”

Which would mean that last night’s “surprise” early release wasn’t really a surprise at all. A Def Jam rep confirmed this to EW this morning, telling us that the early release, NYT story, and Fallon announcement were always a part of their plan.

“Frank’s appearance on the show was on the books for almost two months, well before his letter last week,” Late Night booker Jonathan Cohen confirms to us in an e-mail. “The announcement of the early digital release was part of the plan from the very beginning.”

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