I don’t understand how a guy affiliated with this…
…can make something as smooth-sounding as this.
For the last week or so I’ve essentially had Frank Ocean’s “nostalgia,ULTRA.” on repeat any time that I’m sitting at the Macbook doing anything. I seriously just put it on shuffle and let it rock, skipping a skit here and there because I don’t care to hear “bitches talkin’,” as hilariously literal as that is. Let me put this little tale into timeline format though, maybe that will help.
2011 begins and I’m living life as usual. Drinking, sobering up, drinking again, writing about Hip Hop. The usual.
I hear people talking about Odd Future and spitting out this weird acronym, but I’m too busy listening to my five favorite albums of the year thus far to care.
I see a video of Odd Future on Jimmy Fallon. I think gee, that really is odd, I wonder if they have a future?
Odd Future starts screaming out #Fuck2dopeboyz and suddenly I care a little more, but only in that “fuck my friends? Well, fuck you too” sense of the word.
I get a message from Brian Allonce to check out this guy Frank Ocean’s latest project. I shrug it off and make a mental note in case I go on a downloading spree in the near future.
Dart Adams tells me I need to check out Frank Ocean. This time I listen, no shots at Brian because I trust his musical judgment, but because it’s very rare that Dart recommends music for me to listen to.
I did no prior research – had no idea he was affiliated with Odd Future, had no idea he has written songs in the past for people like John Legend, had no idea this was singing and not rapping, I knew nothing. I opened the file, immediately thought to myself that this reminded me of Drake before Drake blew up, and decided I liked it.
When I found out that he was rockin with the same people as that crazy guy Tyler the Creator as part of the Odd Future movement I almost didn’t believe it. I had to Google that shit and confirm it with at least five websites. Because, really, I still don’t get Odd Future. Their sound still irritates my ears and I just don’t understand their gimmick, or utter lack thereof since therein lies their appeal. Or something. I had to do a double take to see if I was indeed listening to Hot 97 when I heard “novacane” on the radio. And not on Rosenberg’s show, either, which is the only time I’ve heard Odd Future on the FM airwaves.
I know I haven’t given Odd Future enough of a shot, but is Frank Ocean’s project like their group’s mentality just wrapped up in different packaging? Because he’s definitely on some loner, dark, depressed, youthful scorned shit at times, which is exactly what the people I know who fuck with Odd Future seem to like about them. He just does it so smoothly. It’s so easy on the ears. He says things the same way I would have thought to say them, just with a much better singing voice. It’s so easy to relate to. And I know I’m not the only one that has made the Drake comparison, so now I wonder if Frank Ocean indeed has the potential to become as big as Drake grew to be.
All I know is that Frank Ocean as a solo artist surpasses Frank Ocean the Odd Future Wolf Gang affiliate. Frank Ocean, the guy that sings about childhood angst due to absentee fathers and the deteriorating concept of marriage in American culture, surpasses Frank Ocean, the affiliate of that guy who jumped on Jimmy Fallon during that performance with the creepy looking broad on stage with all those lawn gnomes. And not just because Odd Future said “fuck 2dopeboyz.” But yeah, also because Odd Future said “fuck 2dopeboyz” and went on that tangent with those threats and shit. Fuck my peoples? Fuck y’all too.
But this dude Frank Ocean makes some good ass music. I’m just sayin’.