Among the many musicians paying tribute to the top designer Virgil Abloh, who died on Sunday at the age of just 41 after a battle with cancer, Frank Ocean took to Instagram to make a rare statement about his friend, who founded the Off-White line and was Louis Vuitton Menswear’s artistic director.
“In 2018 I believe it was I called V and asked him how it was possible to play hundreds of shows a year and do numerous fashion collections a year and be a father and a husband and return EVERYONE’s texts with enthusiasm and emojis and encouragement and seemingly.. with ease,” Ocean wrote in Instagram Stories, as noted by Billboard.
“I cannot remember how he responded verbatim but I’m sure it was quotable whatever he said,” he continued. “He was always quotable. But the gist of his response was that he was interested in living and living to the maximum extent of his level… which proved to be Impossible today because he was BEYOND.”
Ocean also wrote about Abloh’s connection with the singer’s late younger brother, Ryan Breaux, who died in a car accident last year at the age of just 18.
“When Ryan went to his prom you got him some pieces from your new collection at LV and he was GEEKed. Couldn’t get him to take it off,” he wrote. “When my brother passed I never said anything because it was way too much but he loved you and really looked up to you. He was going to fashion school and everything. He wanted to be a designer.”
He also wrote about sharing early versions of his songs with Abloh. “When I went to Miami and you played a set on the beach in 2016 you played ‘White Ferrari’ — a song with no drums or bars anywhere to be found lol — and started a sing-along,” he wrote. When Ocean played demos of music he had been working on, or showed Abloh plans for his luxury company, Homer, "way before it was ready you put the battery in my back.
“My fam was proud of you like you were our family,” he concluded. “I know grief is love that you don’t get to express so is an attempt at expressing it. Love you V. You’re a hero.”