R&B Star Frank Ocean Isn’t Afraid to Ripple the Waters of Hip Hop With His Blog Bombshell
Maya Lekach – Muze Staff Writer
The hip-hop community has turned into a surf gang as they scream for just one thing: more Ocean! No, not the ocean with waves, but Frank Ocean, singer-songwriter extraordinaire, who released his first full-length album Channel Orange in July after a number of successful EPs.
Admittedly, the first I heard of Ocean was via Tumblr, and it was not of his music but of his bisexuality. This declaration may seem trivial to fans of pop music, with gay celebrities such as Boy George or Mika abounding, and with celebrities such as Lady GaGa and Madonna seeming to proudly cater to gay nightclubs and communities. Ocean, although a pop artist to be certain, hails from the hip-hop scene, where discussions, or even acknowledgement, of homosexuality has been at an appallingly low level. Since Ocean’s announcement, support has been flowing in from all over the hip-hop world, starting with the reigning king and queen of the scene, Jay- Z and Beyonce, and ending with Kanye, the crown prince.
Word was that Target discontinued the sale of his album, although this has proved to be their loss and soul legend Stevie Wonder contributed a number of contested foul words on homosexuality, which he, of course, later said was a misconstruction of his words. Despite some of these ill-wishes, it is with the support of Jay-Z and the rest of the hip-hop community, including former collaborator Tyler the Creator, Channel Ocean was released on Jay-Z’s own famed Def Jam records last month to record sales and approval all across the internet and now a recent gig performing on SNL. Although a google search of “Frank Ocean blog” will instantly lead you to at least a full page of articles on his bisexuality, keep diving and you will find that there is much more to this artist than his (not-so) scandalous sexuality.
Frank Ocean seems to be at the head of a wave leading the music community back to the soothing sounds of R&B, not heard since Justin Timberlake’s masterpiece, FutureSex/LoveSounds. But as the rest of us waited for Justin to stop making shitty movies and start making sweet, sweet music again, Frank Ocean took the gig upon himself. With his crooning tenor, melancholy songs about love lost and found, and now fully formed and relatable personality, Ocean has been serving up just what we need in a world where D’Angelo only plays one show at Lollapalooza, and with Frank Ocean! Additionally, Ocean has been working for many years prior to his album’s release behind the scenes, writing songs for artists ranging from Brandy to Justin Bieber, such as his song “Bigger”, on which he is supposed to have unusual-for-him amounts of swag. Have you heard anyone compare J. Biebs to J. Timbs? That’s not The Biebs, that’s the Ocean. Now there’s a good comeback to tell your girlfriend for your girlfriend who is wayyyyyy too old for Bieber Fever.
Regardless of what is getting people talking, Ocean is a gift to R&B, as he leads a new stream of hopefuls to make the next great albums as well as making them himself. Well my friends, it looks like the mission has already been accomplished.
Listen to Frank Ocean’s sweet-voiced, pop-R&B hybrid “Thinkin’ Bout You”, which I somehow can’t seem to listen to less than once a day…
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