Christopher Francis Ocean, better known as Frank Ocean recently made headline news – not just on the musical landscape but across the whole entertainment sphere. Ocean detailed on his tumbler post that his first love was with another man. This was big news because hip-hop traditionally has been seen as having a very macho, homophobic (and sometimes misogynistic) culture. This is especially curious because Frank Ocean is part of the hip-hop collective Odd Future/ OFWGKTA, a group whose members frequently spout homophobic slurs in their lyrics. It has been refreshing then to see the acceptance that Ocean’s coming out has received.
The bigger news, of course, should be more about Frank Ocean‘s music. Channel Orange, coming out next week, is Frank Ocean‘s debut record after a series of highly lauded mixtapes, singles, and standout guest turn’s on songs from Kanye West and fellow OFWGKTA band mate, Tyler the Creator.
I am not the biggest listener of either hip-hop or R&B, but this new album is exceptionally great. Channel Orange, as its name implies works a bit like a concept record in that the transitions between songs sounds like a person was changing channels on a radio. As can be expected, the songs from the record are filled with impeccable laid back beats and Ocean’s smooth styling.
Check out the star-turning Pyramids embedded below.
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange comes out 7/17 via Island Def Jam (order here)