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Frank Ocean photo portrait





Certain sections of the web are growing impatient with Frank Ocean. On his last album, Channel Orange (the Guardian’s pick of 2012), the R&B artist depicted suburban privilege, explored the inequalities facing black Americans and boldly delved into his own inner workings.

It’s an album so adored that a simple blogpost with the date “july 2015” caused mania among his fans back in April. With that vague deadline passing with no follow-up album, the reaction has spanned the five stages of Twitter-vented grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance and solace through the sharing of memes.

Rather than issuing any apologies, excuses or blaming the record label, the relative silence surrounding the delay has only added to the excitement and intrigue. It is rumoured to be titled Boys Don’t Cry (possibly a homage to the Cure, or perhaps named after the cult trans biopic of the same name). Ocean also publishes a magazine of the same title.

Amid all the furore, Ocean has been toying with fans: inserting clips of Dutch cartoons into the source code of his website to goad amateur hackers, uploading empty audio sets to Soundcloud like some sort of a virtual treasure hunt and posting riddles on Tumblr: “Ok, if one person managed to stop themselves from spinning this morning … While the earth and everything keeps going … Would that person then get smashed into by the objects around her and cause massive destruction upon impact? Or is that poor physics?” he wrote, then added: “I know, I know … Quit asking dumb ass questions to the internet and drop your album. Haha.”

Frank’s not the only one getting in on the fun, either, with Ocean’s family offering up some free PR. His brother, Ryan Breaux, recently claimed the album had surfaced, but it was just a rickroll. Ocean’s mother, meanwhile, has been reassuring impatient fans like a parent pestered on a long drive to Disneyland.

Despite all the speculation, fans have little idea what to actually expect from the release. There have been snippets of new material over the last three years – the demo of a song titled Memrise; the soppy acoustic number Eyes Like Sky; live previews of tracks reportedly called Summer Remains, It’s All Good, Brave and Feel California. However, Ocean claims to have finished the record over a year ago, so whether any of these will actually feature on the final tracklisting, or if the musician has started from scratch, is anybody’s guess. 

Compare this to the current status of Kanye West’s upcoming album. Up to 10 possible tracks likely to feature on Swish have already surfaced online in some form, leaving even the most dedicated Ye fan jaded and past caring.

Ocean quit Twitter shortly after the release of his last LP, and unusually for a major star, does not have an official Facebook page, so the rumour mill has been in overdrive. Everyone from Rick Rubin, James Blake, Lil B, Pharrell, King Krule, Danger Mouse and even Depeche Mode have been linked with the project, none of whom are totally out of the question for an artist who collaborated with both Diplo and members of the Clash on a track just last year.

Given that the Beach Boys’ hip-hop loving Brian Wilson recently snubbed Ocean for his latest album because he “wanted to rap, not sing”, perhaps his focus will be more on rap than R&B vocals. The album, which was partially recorded at Abbey Road, is also said to be inspired by architecture, and comes with a copy of Ocean’s magazine.

There may be a number of diss tracks too, as Ocean has recently been involved in various feuds with Chris Brown, the Eagles, Miguel, Russell Simmons (via his dad) and Mexican food chain Chipotle.

It’s hard to get an album launch right these days. We’ve seen everything from annoying social media campaigns to trailer videos for trailer videos and even some not-so surprising surprise albums. But Frank Ocean has built the anticipation for this beyond breaking point.



Frank Ocean in Egypt






Christopher Francis Ocean (born Christopher Breaux October 28, 1987), is an American singer, songwriter and rapper. Ocean started his career as a ghostwriter for artists such as John Legend, Justin Bieber, and Brandy.

In 2010, he became a member of alternative hip hop collective OFWGKTA also known as Odd Future, and his debut mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, was released to critical acclaim in 2011. The singles "Novacane" and "Swim Good" both achieved chart success. In 2012, Ocean finished second place in the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll. His debut studio album, Channel Orange, was released in July 2012 to critical acclaim and was promoted with three charting singles: "Thinkin Bout You", "Pyramids", and "Sweet Life".

Ocean became one of the first major African-American music artists to announce that he had once fallen in love with someone of the same sex. Ocean's music has been characterized by music writers as idiosyncratic in style.




The discography of Frank Ocean, an American singer and songwriter, consists of one studio album, two mixtapes, nine singles (including two as a featured artist) and eight music videos.

In 2008, Ocean released his first independent mixtape Lonny Breaux named after his former alter ego. In February 2011, he released his first major project, the second mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. The mixtape spawned two singles: "Novacane" and "Swim Good". "Novacane" became his first single to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 82. Both singles charted on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Ocean had three guest appearances on the album Goblin by rapper Tyler, The Creator; the song "She" was released as a single. Ocean had two guest appearances on the Kanye West and Jay-Z collaborative album Watch the Throne. Their song "No Church in the Wild", which features Ocean, was released as a single, peaking at number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100. Ocean has also written songs for several artists, such as Damienn Jones ("Cinderella" and "Summertime"), Brandy Norwood ("1st & Love"), John Legend ("Quickly"), Beyoncé Knowles ("I Miss You"), Bridget Kelly ("Thinking About Forever"), and Justin Bieber ("Bigger").

His debut studio album, Channel Orange, was released on July 10, 2012. Upon release, the album received universal acclaim (92/100 points) from music critics, who praised the album for its bold lyrical content, and it became the highest rated R&B album on Metacritic (Until D'Angelo's Black Messiah with 95/100 points in 2014), which assigns a normalized score based on ratings from selected mainstream critics. The album peaked at number 2 on both the US Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart, while it hit number 1 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It also became the first album in chart history to chart within the UK Albums Chart top 20 solely based on digital sales. Five singles were released from the album: "Thinkin Bout You", "Pyramids", "Sweet Life", "Lost" and "Super Rich Kids". "Thinkin Bout You" peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Ocean's first top 40 hit on the chart. "Lost" became a top five hit in New Zealand and also achieved chart success in Australia and Denmark.


LOS ANGELES 2005 - 2011

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit Ocean's hometown of New Orleans and his recording facility was destroyed by floodwater and looting. To continue recording music, he moved to Los Angeles and intended to stay for just six weeks but decided to stay longer and develop his music career after establishing contact with people in the music industry. He recorded some demos at a friend's studio and shopped them around Los Angeles. After getting a songwriting deal, he started working with other record producers and wrote songs for artists such as Justin Bieber, John Legend, Brandy, and Beyoncé. Ocean later said of his work at the time, "There was a point where I was composing for other people, and it might have been comfy to continue to do that and enjoy that income stream and the anonymity. But that's not why I moved away from school and away from family." He has also worked with artists such as Nas and Pharrell Williams. Ocean joined Los Angeles-based hip hop collective Odd Future, whom he had met in 2009. His friendship with Odd Future member Tyler, The Creator reinvigorated Ocean's songwriting. In late 2009, he met Tricky Stewart, who helped him sign a contract with Def Jam Recordings as a solo artist.

On February 18, 2011, Ocean released his first mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, to critical acclaim. The mixtape focuses on interpersonal relationships, personal reflection and social commentary. NPR's Andrew Noz said Ocean's songwriting is "smart and subtle...setting him apart from the pack." Rolling Stone magazine's Jonah Weiner wrote that Ocean was a "gifted avant-R&B smoothie". In April 2011, Ocean stated that his relationship with Def Jam strengthened since the release of the mixtape. The mixtape made Ocean widely known and led to his collaborations with rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West. Ocean first appeared in Tyler, The Creator's music video for the single "She", from Tyler's second studio album Goblin (2011). His first performance was in collaboration with Odd Future at the 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where he later joined them for their first tour across the east coast of the United States. On May 19, 2011 Ocean's record label Def Jam announced its plans to re-release Nostalgia, Ultra as an EP. The single 'Novacane' was released to iTunes in May 2011, and the EP originally was set to be released the next month, but was delayed.

In June 2011, Ocean revealed that he would work on the upcoming Kanye West and Jay-Z collaborative album, Watch the Throne. Ocean co-wrote and featured on two tracks: "No Church in the Wild" and "Made in America". On July 28, 2011, a song titled "Thinkin Bout You", leaked on the internet. It was later revealed the song was a reference track, written by Ocean, for Roc Nation artist Bridget Kelly's debut studio album. Kelly renamed the song 'Thinking About Forever'. In September 2011, a music video directed by High5Collective for Ocean's version was released, yet the song still appeared on Kelly's debut EP Every Girl. In August 2011, Frank Ocean made his first appearance on the cover of the publication The FADER, in its 75th issue.



Frank Ocean



CHANNEL ORANGE 2012 - 2014

Ocean released the cover art for his debut studio album's lead single, titled "Thinkin Bout You", revealing the song would be released to digital retailers on April 10, 2012. However, a month earlier, a re-mastered version of the song had already leaked. About the prospective single he said: "It succinctly defines me as an artist for where I am right now and that was the aim," he said of the follow-up to his acclaimed Nostalgia, Ultra. "It's about the stories. If I write 14 stories that I love, then the next step is to get the environment of music around it to best envelop the story and all kinds of sonic goodness."

In 2012, Ocean released his debut studio album Channel Orange to universal acclaim from critics, who later named it the best album of the year in the HMV's Poll of Polls. It also earned Ocean six Grammy Award nominations and was credited by some writers for moving the R&B genre in a different, more challenging direction. Considered as Ocean's first commercial release on a traditional record label, Channel Orange featured unconventional songs that were noted for their storytelling and social commentary, and a dense musical fusion that drew on hip hop, soul, and R&B. The songs about unrequited love in particular received the most attention, partly because of Ocean's announcement prior to the album's release, when he revealed that his first love was a man. The announcement made global headlines, and some critics compared its cultural impact to when David Bowie revealed that he was bisexual in 1972.

Channel Orange debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and sold 131,000 copies in its first week. The majority of its first-week sales were digital copies from iTunes, while approximately 3,000 of the sales were physical copies. On January 30, Channel Orange was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). By September 2014, it had sold 621,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Ocean promoted the album with his 2012 Summer Tour, which featured final appearances at the Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals.

On May 28, 2013, Ocean announced the You're Not Dead... 2013 Tour; a fourteen-date European and Canadian tour that began on June 16, 2013, in Munich. He had been scheduled to perform at the first night of OVO Fest on August 4, 2013; however he was forced to cancel his appearance due to a small vocal cord injury. The first night of the music festival was subsequently cancelled and James Blake was booked to appear during the second night as Ocean's replacement. Ocean appears on John Mayer's album Paradise Valley, as a featured artist on a song called "Wildfire".


Ocean's music has been characterized by music writers as idiosyncratic in style. Ocean generally plays the electronic keyboard, and is backed by a subdued rhythm section in the production. His compositions are often midtempo, feature unconventional melodies, and they occasionally have an experimental song structure. In his songwriting, Jon Pareles of The New York Times observes "open echoes of self-guided, innovative R&B songwriters like Prince, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Maxwell, Erykah Badu and particularly R. Kelly and his way of writing melodies that hover between speech and song, asymmetrical and syncopated." While nostalgia, ULTRA featured both original music by Ocean and tracks relying on sampled melodies, channel ORANGE showcased Ocean as the primary musical composer, of which music journalist Robert Christgau opines, "when he's the sole composer Ocean resists making a show of himself—resists the dope hook, the smart tempo, the transcendent falsetto itself."

Ocean's lyrics deal with themes of love, longing, misgiving, and nostalgia. His debut single "Novacane" juxtaposes the numbness and artificiality of a sexual relationship with that of mainstream radio, while "Voodoo" merges themes of spirituality and sexuality, and is an eccentric take on such subject matter common in R&B. The latter song was released by Ocean on his Tumblr account and references both the traditional spiritual "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" and the female anatomy in its chorus: "she's got the whole wide world in her juicy fruit / he's got the whole wide world in his pants / he wrapped the whole wide world in a wedding band / then put the whole wide world on her hands / she's got the whole wide world in her hands / he's got the whole wide world in his hands." Certain songs on channel ORANGE allude to Ocean's experience with unrequited love. Culture critic Nelson George asserts that, along with Miguel, Ocean has "staked out ground where [he is] not competing with those hit-driven [commercial R&B] acts" and is "cultivating a sound that balances adult concerns with a sense of young men trying to understand their own desires (an apt description of Ocean, particularly)."

Ocean describes himself as "a baritone, with tenor moments." Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone calls him a torch singer due to "his feel for romantic tragedy, unfurling in slow-boiling ballads". Ocean's stage presence during live shows is often low-key.




"I Miss You" is a song by American recording artist Beyoncé, taken from her fourth studio album, 4 (2011). It was written by Knowles, Frank Ocean and Shea Taylor while production was handled by Knowles and Taylor. The song's development was motivated the fact that Knowles wanted to focus on songs being classics, songs that would last, and songs that she could sing when she becomes old.


A mid-paced R&B ballad, "I Miss You" is influenced by the ballads of the 1980s. Its instrumentation consists essentially of synthesizers and keyboards. "I Miss You" finds Knowles, as the protagonist, thinking deeply over her relationship with her love interest from whom she parted; however, she still pines for him and feels self-conscious for doing so.

"I Miss You" was generally well received by music critics who complimented its very sparse production as well as its aurally remarkable 1980s influence. Some of them also described the song as a "haunting" ballad and called it the highlight of the record. Critics also complimented how Knowles' vocals keep on alternating from desperate and calm throughout the song, and highlighted the vulnerability in her voice. Following the release of 4 in early July 2011, "I Miss You" charted at number 184 on the UK Singles Chart and at number 34 on the South Korea Gaon International Singles Chart, based on downloads alone. The song was part of Knowles' set list for her 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé, held in Roseland Ballroom, New York City in August 2011.








"Miss You So"

I'll stack these magazines in the corner
After I'm done with them
And I still got the same hope that I started with
That you'll be in one of them
My camera shed some tears since you left him
With nothing, with nothing


How am I supposed to remember?
I got the memories
But memories fade, baby
What am I gonna show to my kids, girl?
When I'm older, and my mind is telling me to forget you
What's gonna make me remember?


That's why I was always taking pictures, pictures
Cause I didn't wanna miss a thing, miss a thing
Tell me how could you take the pictures, pictures
When you knew they were all that I had left - nothing left
They were part of our history, this story
I was always taking pictures
Cause I didn't wanna miss you so bad, miss you this bad
Miss you so bad, miss you so

We didn't make love
We celebrated its invention
Confetti on the mattress – I used to have those images
Tonight I came home they were just embers in the fire
Along with my hard drive, no, no, slow goodbye


How the hell am I supposed to remember?
Tell me now, have the memories
But memories don't last...
What am I gonna show to my kids, baby?
When I'm older, and my mind's telling me to forget you
What's gonna make me remember?


That's why I was always taking pictures, pictures
Cause I didn't wanna miss a thing, miss a thing
Tell me how could you take the pictures, pictures
When you knew they were all that I had left – nothing left
They were part of our history, this story
I was always taking pictures
Cause I didn't wanna miss you

No videos, no polaroid
No record of the love we had
My Nikon wasn't fast enough
To catch my heart break in half
No smiles on my picture frame, no
Just got them little basic ones that the pictures frames come with
Model, wedding picture, you know


That's why I was always taking pictures, pictures
Cause I didn't wanna miss a thing, miss a thing
Tell me how could you take the pictures, pictures?
When you knew they were all that I had left – nothing left
They were part of our history, this story
I was always taking pictures
Cause I didn't wanna miss you so bad, miss you this bad
Miss you so bad, miss you so... 




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