Frank Ocean put this up on his Tumblr page Friday afternoon, titling it "summer 2012." It's basically a series of Vine clips documenting his travels around the world last year—Egypt and Dubai are prominent settings. But since he soundtracked them with the excellent song "Lost" from his double-plus excellent Orange album, it counts as a new video—and a good one! It's just that easy when you're a super-talented R&B star signed to Island/Def Jam.
Man, D'Angelo really picked a challenging time for a comeback as neo-soul's alpha dog. Between Frank Ocean's Channel Orange making its very persuasive case for album-of-the-year (and the more recent awesome and awesomely titled single, "Blue Whale" bolstering his claim of ownership of the universe), and the Weeknd's creepy, compelling charisma, and now Miguel's highly-acclaimed new album, Kaleidoscope Dream on the scene, can there be any room or attention left for the old master? Also, the kids are all so flamboyantly celebratory of their drug use. It almost like they're taunting D'Angelo, who has so famously struggled with addiction problems. Remember in the [...]
With people putting Frank Ocean's new album in sentences alongside the likes of Voodoo, Here My Dear, and The White Album (Didion's, not the Beatles'; but, you know, it's only been out a week), the arrival of this video of Killer Mike performing a cut off his R.A.P. Music, which came out way back in May, almost seems to say, "Hey, everybody, don't forget about me! I made the best album of the year so far, too!"
"Be clear. Frank Ocean, as part of a hip hop collective (Odd Future), will go down in history as the most high profile hip hop/R&B artist to go public with their homosexuality or bi-sexuality. In the same year that President Obama publicly supports gay marriage, and Anderson Cooper comes out of the closet, it will be really interesting to see how one of the more openly homophobic subcultures reacts to Frank’s honesty. Is his audience younger and more open-minded so it won’t phase them? Will other long-rumored gay, lesbian, or bisexual hip hop stars be inspired to make their own statements? Ironically, Frank’s crew has put out some really [...]
I don't know that I have ever seen a video that has less to do with the song it accompanies than this new one from Frank Ocean. Apparently, I mean. You never know the inner workings of an artist's mind. But judging from this, it seems that the title of the song might have been shortened from "Thinking About You and Cowboys-and-Indians Revenge Fantasies and Meteors and Witch Doctors and Magical Gemstones and Also Maybe Time Travel."
"R&B singer Frank Ocean intends to press charges against bully boy Chris Brown for punching him and starting an all-out brawl outside Westlake Studios in West Hollywood on Sunday night. Police want to talk to Brown, who is still on probation for beating up Rihanna on the eve of the 2009 Grammy Awards. Ocean, who publically came out in July as a bisexual, is 'desirous of prosecution,' L.A. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Steve Whitmore told The Post. 'We’ll find out what happened.'" —Two new trends: 1) R&B singers using their fists like street thugs. 2) Police officers using their words like R&B singers.
Here is the new video for "Cherokee," the first song from Cat Power's new album, Sun. Below, you will find the new video for "Pyramids," the tenth song from Frank Ocean's new album, Channel Orange. Both of these songs are great. Frank Ocean's album is, I think, the best album to be released so far this year. Cat Power's album is, I think, also one of the best, and—at least based on a first week's listening—her best work since Moon Pix and The Covers Album marked her artistic peak at the turn of the century. (Well, her first artistic peak, hopefully.) Both these videos feature violence and a mysterious [...]
"It took the team less than a day to develop and launch Hate Tweets of Frank Ocean, which went live yesterday. The site collects dozens of homophobic Tweets, framing them above a pink heart-shaped button that generates an @reply to each individual message. The auto response? 'It’s not who you love – it’s *that* you love that truly matters.'” —Click here to send a message back to someone who has sent a homophobic tweet to Frank Ocean.
Two new projects are sparking a lot of discussion right now about the current state of R&B. The first is by The Weeknd, a mysterious singer (or group?) who has enjoyed a quick rise to critical-darling status since releasing the free debut album House of Balloons last week. The second is by Frank Ocean, the lone singer in Rap Group of the Moment, Odd Future. Ocean's album, nostalgia,Ultra, also excellent, also free, came out mere weeks before The Weeknd's project, so the two acts are getting joined together as poster children for what's being called a new wave of R&B. The terms being thrown around to describe this new [...]
Wow, you can really hear Frank Ocean entrancing the crowd with this version of Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" that he played at the Ceder Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York City last week. When the video begins, people in the audience are talking noisily, and Ocean's singing is strained: he misses a couple notes and misgauges the effect of his volume with the sound system's echo. But as he progresses into the song and finds the melody, loosening up, settling into the lyrics, improvising, the room hushes and he sounds beautiful and people whoop and holler and make new noise, but this time in attentive appreciation.
"The part that feels worth underlining is the way that, whether he's writing about himself, about characters, or about the worlds around him, Ocean does amazingly little posturing, amazingly little audible management of persona, glamor, or cool—he seems to point a clear, calm eye all around, as if there's more than enough in the world to notice without trying to act out something attractive about himself." —Nitsuh Abebe has written the best piece I've yet read about the subject that everybody's writing about, which is Frank Ocean's new album Channel Orange—a subject that warrants all the writing and reading about. It is so, so, so good.
Frank Ocean performed the song "Bad Religion," from his new album Channel Orange, with a string section and The Roots on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" last night. And on the "Late Show With David Letterman," Tom Waits performed "Chicago" from his ten-month-old album, Bad As Me. With his son Casey playing drums.
The video for the first single from Bonnie Prince Billy's new album Wolfroy Goes to Town, which comes out in two weeks, is strikingly similar to the one for Frank Ocean's "Thinking About You," which we were pleasantly confused by yesterday. Billy's seems a little bit more in context, and has a super-terrific surprise ending, but what becomes most obvious with the benefit of watching them together is that these are two artists who who should collaborate on an R. Kelly cover. I hope they do "When a Woman's Fed Up."