I’m about a month late, but if you haven’t already, go over to http://frankocean.com/ and take a listen to that first heart-melting track. The title of this track is “You Are Luhh” which is a tribute cover of Aaliyah’s “At Your Best” cover which was originally composed by The Isley Brothers. Regardless of the complicated history, the main point is that Frank Ocean released new music, even if it’s a cover of a cover. At the very end of the lullaby, Frank gives us a little tease of a song from his upcoming album. With the tingling black key-notes held over a soothing yet driven bass-line, blended altogether with Frank-esque signature organ chords, the only thing missing is the medium of his voice, and I can not wait any longer…
It has been almost three years since his debut album “Channel Orange” was released (If you haven’t listen to the whole album yet, I suggest you to ASAP here). He named the album after synesthesia-ly experiencing the color orange from the summer he first fell in love. For Frank, orange has maybe been a single representation of one summer, but for me, orange has been the color of every one of my summers following the release. The album flows without hesitation from beginning to end, immersing into a spectrum of emotions that are intrinsically relatable. Although summer is known for its euphoric vibes, “Channel Orange” also dives deep in emotions of longing and loneliness that are often unspoken of in terms of day to day conversation. I appreciate the good, bad, and ugly that are expressed through this album as Frank has no shame. He put his whole self onto the album, where we can either run with it or leave it. He doesn’t care.
Soon after the release of “Channel Orange”, Frank Ocean posted an open-letter on his tumblr, addressing his first true love, another male. This news caused mixed reactions. I remember the ignorant YouTube comments and I also remember the overwhelming support from other celebrities. In the end, the positivity overthrew the negative as his popularity increased and was even invited shortly thereafter by Jay-Z and Kanye west to record the track “No Church in the Wild“. It was a big step for hip-hop as many rappers, whom are stereotypically known as homophobes and “alpha-males”, showed Frank their full support and encouragement, breaking old barriers and creating new standards.
A young man from New Orleans travels to Los Angeles in hopes of a musical career. He works odd jobs, hustles around, makes a rep for himself, and eventually starts to ghostwrite for other artists, all in the midst of recording his own music. Later he joins a hip-hop group (Odd Future). Gets signed to Def Jam. Makes a mixtape which gains massive recognition through social media and eventually he creates his own masterpiece album.
Today, Mr. Ocean is featured on multiple tracks that range from various genres. It was recently noted that he will be featured on Chance the Rapper’s upcoming album with The Social Experiment. However, the real question is how many more days do I have to wait for Frank to release his album? The world may never know.
– Adam Choi