The Wait of Your Life: It’s The Frank Ocean Story & We’re Just All Waiting to Hear It
A little over five years ago, California born, New Orleans raised, Christopher Francis “Frank” Ocean released his first mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, and had the entire world nostalgic, in its feelings completely. Little did we know, the critically acclaimed mixtape would just be an interlude to his metaphorical, magical, ultra-expressive studio album, Channel Orange. Frank Ocean succeeded in fusing Hip-Hop, soul and rhythm and blues (R&B) with unconventional melodies and cultivating lyrics, and he created a sound unlike everything we thought we loved. His music is addicting, and it is an art we will wait for because it is truly his story and his time.
In 2012, Ocean’s debut album, Channel Orange marked a monumental change in the way the R&B genre was received by the world. Its unconventional songs and lyrics told stories and sparked deeper discussions about social norms and biases. The album told stories of unrequited love, spirituality and longing in an idiosyncratic manner that no one had heard before. Ocean created the album with an agenda in mind; he had an ultimate goal that involved telling the world the stories of his life.
“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 during an interview with Rap-Up. “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.”
As a part of telling his story, Ocean revealed that his first love was a man a little before the release of the album. This announcement made global headlines, further increasing the cultural impact of the album. He published an open letter on his Tumblr blog explaining the feelings he had for his first true love. The overall response to his announcement was positive, and it opened the door for the Hip-Hop industry to really tackle some issues of homophobia and sexual orientation based prejudices.
Now, here it is August 2016, about four years later, and the world is fiending for the next Frank Ocean masterpiece. Time wrote, “The world has been waiting for a new record from Frank Ocean for what feels like a lifetime.” CNN even chimed in on the conversation with, “Seriously Frank Ocean, where is your new album?” The New York Times reports that the new album, Boys Don’t Cry will be released Friday, Aug. 5, through an exclusive deal with Apple Music, according to a source with “knowledge of the release plans.”
We all are ready for the musical landscape to be shifted once again, but guess what? We will just have to wait. We are ready when you are, Mr. Ocean.
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