By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com December 06 2012 3:08 AM ET
Out artist Frank Ocean tied with several big names for the most Grammy nominations in the 55th annual list announced late Wednesday.
Ocean's six nods include some of the biggest categories: Album of the Year for Channel Orange, record of the year for "Thinkin Bout You" and Best New Artist. He was also nominated for Urban Contemporary Album, and for "No Church in the Wild," which he performs with Jay-Z, Kanye West and The-Dream, Ocean is nominated in Best Short Form Music Video and Rap/Sun Collaboration.
Ocean's five nominations tie him for the most with Kanye West, Jay-Z, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons and fun. It's a big moment after rappers like 50 Cent cautioned that others in hip hop and R&B were closely watching whether Ocean would succeed after disclosing in the lyrics to two of his new songs — "Bad Religion" and "Forrest Gump" — that he had been in a relationship with a man. Ocean followed up by making his coming out clear in a post on Tumblr.
In an interview with GQ, Ocean acknowledged the risk in coming out (though he resists putting a label on his identity).
"Some people said, 'He's saying he fell in love with a guy for hype,'" Ocean told GQ. "As if that's the best hype you can get in hip-hop or black music. So I knew that if I was going to say what I said, it had to be in concert with one of the most brilliant pieces of art that has come out in my generation. And that's what I did. Why can I say that? Why I don't have to affect all this humility and shit ... because I worked my ass off."
In "Thinkin Bout You," Ocean eschews gendered pronouns while telling the story of being left heart broken by a lover who wouldn't commit. His moving performance of the song on Saturday Night Live got attention all over the Web. The actual music video is elaborate and will leave you wondering, yet it got less attention.
Watch the SNL performance below, followed by the official music video.
Correction: An earlier version of this story did not account for Frank Ocean's sixth nomination for Best Short Form Music Video.