I felt that this song by R&B artist Frank Ocean fit with our reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 20 this week. Just like with Sonnet 20, this song raised a lot of questions about Ocean’s sexuality. He had previewed it at Coachella before his debut album dropped, and some people didn’t even pick up on the songs references to loving a man. Some noticed and were quick to speculate whether or not Ocean was gay. Others shot down the homosexual speculation and thought that the song was told from Jenny’s point of view (the female character in the movie who is involved romantically with Forrest Gump.)
I thought that this fit perfectly because it goes to show the different theories and interpretations of the lyrics, just like with Shakespeare’s controversial Sonnet 20. We don’t know if Shakespeare wrote the sonnet from a perspective of a certain character, or if he actually harbored homosexual feelings for a man. We will never know because we never were able to have Shakespeare speak for himself on the matter.
Frank Ocean, however, came out as bisexual publicly in an open letter before his album dropped. He knew that other love songs on his album had references to men, and he wanted to nip it in the bud and address his sexuality himself before the rumors flew. I thought this was very courageous of him, especially coming from the hip-hop community which traditionally is not as accepting of same-sexuality.
But Ocean never directly stated what this song is about, so it is still up for interpretation. Some people still feel that it is from Jenny’s perspective and others feel it is written from Frank’s personal experience with a clever metaphor.