..or “Urban” for that matter…
The midtempo ballad proved that r&b, like hip hop, is capable of telling a story with a novel’s attention to structure, plot and detail. Well, Frank Ocean is the best r&b lyricist since Prince. Except don’t call what he does r&b. And don’t call it “urban”. «I’ll usually cringe at the r&b labe», says Ocean, the 24-year-old who writes songs for everyone from John Legend to Justin Bieber and makes music with the wildly eclectic «Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All», collective in Los Angeles. «Because it’s like calling it urban… and what the fuck is urban music?». When it was time to categorize Nostalgia, Life, the EP he released for free online this summer, he went the smart-ass route and called it “bluegrass.”
Who knew? I was one of many who downloaded Nostalgia and had NO clue that he labeled it as “bluegrass”. I swear each and every interview that I read about Frank Ocean he seems to allow more and more of himself to shine through. If his videos were any indication – Frank is definitely not your typical artist. He has been planning a trip to join the many Occupying Wall Street saying:
«My generation just doesn’t have the best taste in leadership. And weak leadership means little to no cohesion. If there’s no cohesion, there’s no real chance for effective protest or politics. Obviously, looking at Occupy Wall Street, there are a few in our bunch who still give a damn enough to rally and shout», says Ocean,
He speaks on his transition as an artist and his official changing of his legal name in the December 2011 issue of Vogue Italia. Check it out here.
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