I am a fan of Frank Ocean. I support him, I listen to him often. I truly just want the best for him in all honesty.
That's why, today when Calvin Harris released a single featuring Frank Ocean and Migos, I absolutely LOST it, you guys. I straight up yelled out loud. If you or someone you love is a fan of Frank Ocean you know that things like this don't happen very often. Let me take you on a journey:
CHANNEL ORANGE (2012):
Franks first official album. This album is near and dear to my heart. I remember the first time I ever heard "Thinkin Bout You" it was actually a Vine of a girl singing "a potato flew around my room before you came" and there was an actual potato tied to a ceiling fan. Anyway, I saw someone comment about the original song and I was totally hooked the second I listened to it. It was chill- yet emotional. Such a melodic song that I could vibe with no matter what mood I was in. Once I delved into the sweet melodies that followed I knew this would be one of the most influential albums I would listen to that year. It's one of those albums you can listen to in its entirety and just really feel fulfilled afterword. The kind of album you know is so much more than that; it's a diary, it's a movie, it's sleep talking and napkin scribbles types of songs.
Frank, outside of his music, is an incredibly private individual. I really respect him for this because after all, he is a successful individual in the music industry and he hasn't let that get to him. To listen to such a personal piece of work like Channel Orange it makes the entire experience so much more special. He tells you far much more than you would ever know otherwise. I'm the type of fan who wants to know everything about an artist that way I can truly appreciate their craft. But with Frank Ocean it seems to be so different. I'm much more at ease with not knowing much about him in his day to day life- yet still knowing so much about the kind of individual he is. Brilliant.
And here we are 4 years later. Any Frank Ocean fan will tell you that the years between Channel Orange and Blonde were 4 of the longest years in existence. We, as fans, knew there would be a bit of a hiatus so Frank could do his thing, get back into the groove. However, nobody truly knew how long that would be. It's this cruel paradox where we want the artist to take their time and do whatever is best for them and if that includes making more music, fantastic! But if not, we'd absolutely understand. At the same time, where's the music? "We want to support you and love you," say the wholesome memes. Personally, after 3 years of nothing from Frank I was genuinely concerned he was done. I knew deep down he wasn't but that's such a long time, you know? There were rumors, of course, and good ones at that. Some of the rumors ended up being (sort of) factual. i.e. Boys Don't Cry, which ended up being a publication featuring Frank and some of the things he's curated.
You can imagine my utter shock when material began floating to the surface. Ominous dates were appearing, there was a website.. of some sort, MORE dates and MORE rumors. What was going on?! That's when my mind gears began turning. Frank is an artist. He's intentional. Everything he does is meticulously planned and well thought out. These weren't just random rumors and projected release dates. Frank has been writing and planning and curating this whole time. And he really was.
At long last, Frank set up a live stream. Now, I was sure as heck fire confused out of my mind. Picture this: Frank, in a warehouse, constructing a stand alone spiral staircase out of wood. What?
This livestream was so darn fascinating to watch. Overall, there were songs playing throughout the warehouse which many people assumed were songs from his new album.... WRONG
Next thing we knew we were hit slap in the face with: BLONDE.
Holy moly. It's real. It's tangible. I almost didn't believe it when I saw it.
I was so excited by this whole production: the magazine, the performance art, the album itself. It was a good album, granted Channel Orange will always be #1 for me, but still it was a really fine piece of music. What made this so incredible to me was the insane amount of patience within that human. I truly respect him so much for taking that much time and effort to really make something he was proud of. I knew he wouldn't create and release something he wasn't proud of and for that, I'm proud of him.
CALVIN HARRIS SINGLE (2017):
This song is a hit. I've listened through a coupled times so far and I can tell people are really going to enjoy it. This is such an interesting pairing of artists and I'm glad they aren't afraid to branch out into other genres because they really did create something fantastic here.
Frank Ocean has had a huge influence on me as a person who appreciates music and what it adds to our daily lives. Adding elements of art, fashion, and performance set him apart from other artists. He adds another dimension to the game which will take him far and leave a lasting impression on our generation.