Frank Ocean (born Christopher Lonny Edwin Breaux on October 28, 1987 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper and producer. His music is typically categorized as R&B but covers a wide range of styles and influences, and he is considered one of the leading artists in the PBR&B genre. He started his music career in the late 2000s as a songwriter before joining the Odd Future music collective in 2010. He released his debut mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, in 2011, followed by his debut album Channel Orange in 2012, both to critical acclaim. After much delay, he released his second and third albums, Endless and Blonde, just one day apart from each other in 2016.
He is also notable as one of the relatively few openly LGBT male stars in R&B music. Around the time of Channel Orange's release, Frank came out as bisexual in an open letter◊ on his Tumblr account, where he stated that his first love was a man. A significant amount of his music, especially on and following Channel Orange, can be interpreted to reference his experiences as a bisexual man.
Since his coming out, he has often been considered an icon for the LGBT community. Frank Ocean's music has consistently earned critical acclaim and accolades as well as commercial success, making him one of the most successful R&B artists of the past decade.
- Channel Orange (2012)
- Endless (2016)
- Blonde (2016)
- Nostalgia, Ultra (2011)
Thinkin' 'Bout Tropes:
- Advertised Extra: Inverted on "Pink + White". Beyoncé contributes some fairly noticeable backing vocals to the end of the song, but isn't credited as a feature (something most artists would be jumping to do to boost publicity of the song.)
- Ambiguously Bi: Earlier in his career, various lyrics in his songs led to speculation about his sexual orientation. Averted as of 2012, when he officially came out as bisexual.
- Be Yourself: Played for laughs in "Be Yourself", which starts off as this but goes off message:"[...] Listen, stop trying to be somebody else. Don't try to be someone else. Be yourself and know that that's good enough. Don't try to be someone else. Don't try to be like someone else, don't try to act like someone else. Be yourself. Be secure with yourself. Rely and trust upon your own decisions. On your own beliefs. You understand the things that I've taught you. Not to drink alcohol, not to use drugs. Don't use that cocaine or marijuana because that stuff is highly addictive [...]"
- Break-Up Song: A lot of his songs are these. Usually they're written in retrospect about a relationship that's already ended, rather than the moment of the breakup itself.
- Drugs Are Bad: In "Be Yourself", Rosie Watsonnote delivers an anvilicious speech about this:"Many college students have gone to college and gotten hooked on drugs, marijuana, and alcohol. [...] You understand the things that I've taught you. Not to drink alcohol, not to use drugs. Don't use that cocaine or marijuana, because that stuff is highly addictive. When people become weed-heads they become sluggish, lazy, stupid and unconcerned. Sluggish, lazy, stupid and unconcerned. That's all marijuana does to you, okay? This is mom. Unless you're taking it under doctor's... umm... control. Then it's regulated. Do NOT smoke marijuana. Do NOT consume alcohol, do NOT get in the car with someone who is inebriated. This is mom, call me, bye."
- Epic Rocking:
- "Pyramids" is just under 10 minutes long.
- "Device Control (Reprise)" clocks in at 7:04.
- Miniscule Rocking:
- All 3 of his studio albums have a number of short interludes between songs.
- Of the 20 tracks on Endless, half of them are less than 2 minutes long.
- The Big Easy: Born and raised in New Orleans. He moved to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his recording studio. "Pink + White" uses imagery from the aftermath of the hurricane in its verses.
- The Oldest Profession: In the second half of "Pyramids", the "Cleopatra" character is a stripper who works at a club called "The Pyramid". She is implied to be a prostitute as well:But your love ain't free no more...But your love ain't free no more...
- Unrequited Love: A theme in a number of his songs.
- In "Thinkin Bout You" he reflects on a past relationship that failed, wondering if the other person still has feelings for him the way he does.
- "Forrest Gump" is inspired by Frank's feelings from his (unrequited) first love (Ironically, the song is sung from the perspective of Jenny, while in the film she was the one not to reciprocate Forrest's feelings for most of the film.)
- Verbal Backspace: On Odd Future's "Oldie" (released before Frank came out):I'm high and I'm biWait, I mean I'm straight