“Who knows? Maybe I’m crazy…That’s one big maybe”
Born Christopher “Lonny” Breaux in 1987, New Orleans, he was hit by the singing bug at a young age. Well aware that he needed something special to make it big, Frank’s early years were spent channelling his talent and husslin for his break.
“I knew that the only way I could make it a livelihood and make a living off of it was because I was great at it,” Frank explains “I didn’t want it to be my hobby, I wanted it to be my career.”
Whilst studying English and Law at the University of New Orleans, Frank still had stress to pay the bills and found himself in many humdrum jobs including cell phones stores and insurance clerk roles. The hit ‘Novacane’ tells us about a girl, who very similar to Frank was fighting to fulfill her dream, but was side-tracked by such pressures- a constant distraction from achieving?
“She said she wanna be a dentist really badly, She’s in school paying, for tuition doing porn in the valley…at least ya working”.
In 2005, the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina meant that Frank had to transfer to the University of Lafeyette and with no studio in sight, this was pretty short lived. Not one for defeat, Frank soon jet set to LA where he managed to grab some cheap studio time. Frank’s words in ‘Swim Good’ tell us about his feelings at this time. The ocean being LA, full of opportunity and dreams, and his ambition to compete with people ‘bigger’ than him.
“One more mile till the road runs out, I’m about to drive in the ocean, Imma try to swim from something bigger than me. I’m going off don’t try stopping me…don’t try saving me…no flares…no fear”.
After leaving his education, girlfriend and family behind, the determination to make it big was more apparent than ever before. With no distractions, I think this is where the magic really began and ‘Songs for women’ tells us how hard work bagged him his deal with Def Jam Records “Now I’m in the lab, always working late, always sleeping past the breakfast she makes”.
So… Def Jam… Frank had made it!!…. right?
Everybody knows Def Jam can make you or break you. And yes, Frank Ocean was now a known soul. But, in hindsight, I’m a little sceptical as to whether this was really what Frank wanted or needed.
Back to ‘Novacane’
“Every single record, Auto-tuning, Zero Emotion, muted emotion, pitch corrected, computed emotion”.
From the first ever to the latest tune, we know that Frank writes from his heart and I’ve got a sneaky feeling that these words aren’t from his self- limitations.
This triggers thought and I get frustrated thinking about how many other young talents may be similarly tied up in major-label rat-nests, chasing hits instead of being true to themselves. Here’s hoping Nostalgia, Ultra proves to be a call for their liberation.
The first time I heard Nostalgic Ultra, I can’t say I was instantly blown away. But like many great pieces of work it just got better with time. As I began to delve a little deeper into whom this guy was I was more and more impressed, and in hindsight we can see raw emotion and memories creeping through much of his work.
Alongside the release of his mixtape, Frank was also playing a leading role within Odd Future. Frank has praised Odd Future for liberating his thinking and helping him realise how important it is to stay true to yourself within the music industry. And unlike Def Jam, Odd Future offered Frank that platform to express himself.
Although I’m not a huge fan of Odd future, I must give credit where credit is due and praise them for sharing such a unique vision. They delve so far off track and yet always managed to create complete, extra ordinary pieces, with that exciting and very refreshing touch.
Moving on, and a quick look through Frank’s Tumblr reveals many truly elegant loves. Comments about japanese animation and photos of his collection of vintage typewriters clearly demonstrates the essence behind this guy’s swag. Unassuming and inspiring, Frank has not fallen prey of the “classic” hip hop bravado of guns and hoes and indeed remained a true artist of substance.
STYLE OF FRANK OCEAN
So what clothes does frank ocean wear? Franks sartorial style like his music is true to himself and bypasses many of the styles of people within the Hip Hop/R&B industry by being all Bling or faux preppy. The best way to describe his style would be sporty meets smart with a nostalgic cultured twist. It definitely works for him.
There are the shirts buttoned all the way to the top, quirky hats and the odd hyped flashy trainer. But what really gives Frank the potential to become a style icon is his love for tribal prints and how he can make a white t-shirt look different by tieing his signature red and white bandanna around his head. Frank Ocean is only at the beginning of his style journey but iits rare to see a artist within the hip hop world with his own real sense of style and Frank Ocean definitely has the potential. We can’t wait to see his style grow as his career does.
“Rising sun bandana” roll up for bandana
Nike Air Jordan Retro III