Frank Ocean is back on his blog grind. The last time the crooner used TextEdit was just ahead of his Channel Orange release, when he posted a moving account of his first love, who just happened to be a man. Last night the generous star returned to his Tumblr, this time with less of a mission in mind but still with ever so much to say. This note is more free-wheeling and less pointed than the last, touching quickly on his dreams, his diet and even death, before Ocean sweetly concludes: “Good night moon.”
Major revelations include confirmation that Ocean has been in the studio with Pharrell and Jay-Z, and that he’s always making new music. And all the rest read like a revelation — a bit about love, lots of new projects and one mention of Bill Murray. Like Ocean himself, it’s funny and smart, quirky and honest, and well worth the attention. Maybe Ocean should consider a career in blogging?
Now that Pharrell has teased the potential of an epic collaboration between himself, Frank Ocean and Jay-Z, they must deliver nothing short of magic. Yesterday evening when Pharrell tweeted a photo of the three kings in the studio together the Internet went bonkers. “Yessur, in the studio with @S_C_ and @frank_ocean. pic.twitter.com/OrYHz0t0,” he tweeted. Pharrell’s one of the hottest producers in the game. Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange was arguably one of the best records of the year so far. And Jay-Z? Just ending his sold out eight concert series at Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center, this guy has had the rap game on lock for over a decade now. Read more…
Kaleidoscope Dream is the magical sophomore album by Miguel, an LP in which he infuses the sounds of rock, soul and funk into the expanding box that is modern R&B. On “Adorn,” which is currently No. 1 on the Hip-Hop/R&B charts, he croons about love and intimacy over the funky bass line. “‘Adorn’ is romantic, but it’s dirty at the same time,” he told us the day his album dropped. “It’s all the highs of love with all the coolness of the party.” Then there’s “Use Me,” “Do You,” “Arch & Point,” and “Pussy Is Mine” that explore the beauty of intimacy. While “Do You” is as much about the sensuality (“Do you like hugs? Do you like love?”) as it is about sex (“I wanna do you like drugs tonight”), the provocative “Pussy Is Mine” is completely about Miguel’s friend with benefits making him feel like it is all his. Read more…
Last night, just ’cause and without ceremony or comment, Frank Ocean dropped a new track called “Blue Whale” on his Tumblr. Like Frank songs past, it’s a sort of melancholic tropical deal; unlike Frank songs past, Frank drops the sweet croon and instead raps. Frank’s flexed his rap muscles before — albeit only briefly on epic Odd Future posse track “Oldie” (at 5:17, if you’re short on time) — but this is, as far as we can tell, his first front to back rap song. It could maybe use one of his trademark hooks (what song couldn’t?), but coming off the success of Channel Orange and a string of highprofileperformances, the fact is that Ocean owes us nothing. So why not, like he says, “Let a relevant n***** do what a relevant n***** feel” and let him rap if he wants to?
Frank Ocean treated the concert-goers of All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival in New York City to a 10 song set of soulful sounds from both Nostalgia, Ultra and Channel Orange. Opening night featured comedians Kurt Braunholer, Hannibal Buress and Janeane Garofalo and musicians Lightning Bolt, Edan the DJ, Philip Glass and Tyondai Braxton. Ocean being the most notable act for the night, awed the crowd with good ol’ fashion R&B music.
Backed by a live band Ocean glided through fan favorite’s “Forest Gump,” “Thinking Bout You,” “Swim Good,” “Pyramids” among others. On stage Frank’s intricate song lyrics and soft crooning carries him. In lieu of any exciting stage props or choreography, there’s Frank. And his music. Those attending don’t seem to mind as they scream every single lyric along with the fairly new artist. Fresh off his debut VMA performance and Saturday Night Live season’s opening, Frank continues to grace stages with adorning fans attentively watching. There’s room for all kinds of sounds in today’s matrix of music. But if there’s anything Frank’s performances proves–it’s music lovers’ desire for pure talent, something they can feel.
One of examples of Frank Ocean‘s superb songwriting/storytelling skills is his imagination. Pyramids are usually automatically associated with Egypt by default, but Frank being anything but ordinary turned “Pyramids” into the place where strippers dwell. A day after kicking off Saturday Night Live‘s 15th season with a live performance accompanied by John Mayer, the visual to his wildly popular “Pyramids” hit the ‘net. And as expected, alas, there are strippers. Directed by Nabil, the eight minute video owes its aesthetic appeal to the numerous special effects. The bending lamp posts, the multiple Frank Oceans, the blinking fluorescent lights, they are all somewhat mesmerizing. John Mayer’s guitar performance in the middle of the desert is easily one of the highlights. Although the strippers are the focal point of the song, they serve as merely a backdrop in the video, despite their obvious presence. Now that we’ve seen the women “working at the pyramids tonight” the mystique is gone, for now. Until the next time you watch the video. Have a look at some of the awesome gifs from the video. Read more…
Frank Ocean kicked off Saturday Night Live‘s 15th season with two stellar showings. As predicted, he performed a stripped down and extra-soulful “Thinkin Bout You” and then the second half of his stripper anthem “Pyramids,” his “bro” John Mayer accompanying on the guitar for both and a full vintage arcade set up behind him. Ocean still seems a little timid when he performs, and sort of like he did in that oddly straight-faced promo, he fidgeted nervously through the first verse of “Thinkin Bout You.” He’s good, though, and so as soon as he loosened up he was able to turn song’s difficult high notes sweet.
Already warmed up, he showed off a little more swag during “Pyramids,” showing some teeth and pulling a few dance moves. And when Mayer went in on his loopy solo (extra guitar face so you know it’s real), Ocean made use of the time to fiddle with some of those vintage arcade games before giving the crowd one last smile and calling it a night.
Watch “Thinkin Bout You” above, and “Pyramids” and the video game playing below.
You might say that Frank Ocean is playing it extra-cool in the promo video for his upcoming appearance on Saturday Night Life. Fred Armisen and host Seth MacFarlane play nice together in the video, dueling their various funny voices and making small talk. As for Ocean, he whiles away the short promo, scratching his chin, nodding his head a few times — in agreement or to keep awake? — and rolling his eyes at the Family Guy creator. His only line? “Not cool, Seth.” Arriving on the scene as the sweet singing elder (though hardly old) member of the wily rap crew Odd Future, Ocean has always struck us as a many of few but poignant words, and so we have to assume that he really meant something by each of those three words. We’ll just have to tune in to Ocean’s “bro”-ified SNL debut tomorrow to find out what.
Ocean tweeted the good news this morning, writing “SNL this weekend. Me and the bro John Mayer.” And though nothing has been officially confirmed, he’s got the internet alight with possibilities. Maybe Ocean and his “bro” will do something with “White,” that smooth grooving Channel Orange interlude. Perhaps more likely, the two will perform Ocean’s 10-minute ode to strippers, “Pyramids,” which ends with an uncredited Mayer guitar solo. Otherwise, Mayer could probably do some good to “Thinking About You,” which Ocean played acoustic at VMAs; or maybe he could bring his maybe-girlfriend Katy Perry along for the “Sweet Life”/”California Gurls” medley that we just realized we need. Because — not sugar-free — mango, peaches and whipped cream bras, wouldn’t that be something?
Legendary Stevie Wonder found himself in a bit of trouble recently when a reporter asked him his feelings about Frank Ocean publicly admitting he’d once been in love with a man. Wonder told the Guardian, “I think honestly, some people who think they’re gay, they’re confused,” he said. “People can misconstrue closeness for love. People can feel connected, they bond. I’m not saying all [gay people are confused]. Some people have a desire to be with the same sex. But that’s them.” After the interview hit the ‘net the backlash was inevitable. The “Ribbon in the Sky” musician took the holiday weekend to make an official statement to let the world know that his comments had been taken out of context. Read more…