Written by: @Broach19
Prior to releasing his depute solo album, Frank Ocean announced that at the age of 19 he had experienced his first true love with another man. The announcement was a risky one considering the amount of homophobia present in the rap and R&B community. However Frank being true to his music and art released Channel Orange and it was met with thunderous applause. The reviews of the album have been glaringly positive, and the subject of Frank’s sexuality has taken the backseat to the success of the album. This is because Frank decided to allow the music do the talking. No matter what pre-conceived notions or prejudice people had or held against Frank, there was no denying that Channel Orange was a piece of art. This is similar to Kanye West’s approach to creating My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye went into creating the album with the mindset that the caliber of the music should overshadow whatever feelings the listener had towards the artist.FrankOceandid just that, in each track the listener can feel the time and work he put into the music. Frank tells his unique story through the album, he laments over past love interests and examins his own flaws as a human being. This works because the concepts are universal whether it’s a feeling of wasted emotions or false love, the listener can both sympathize with the pain of the artist while still incorporating their own past experiences. Frank is also a gifted storyteller, each track is included in the album for a specific reason and placed in a specific order leading into the next one literally start to finish. The success of Channel Orange came about by efforts from both camps however. Not only didFrankOceancreate a phenomenal piece of work, but the listeners had to give the album a chance, which is exactly what they did. So what does this mean? Is today’s generation of listeners a more tolerant one, willing to move past the limitations of social labels, and discriminations? Yes, not only a more tolerant one but also a more educated one. One too smart to miss out on great music because of race, or sexual orientation. ChannelOrange’s legacy will be that of a boundary breaker, a legacy that will hopefully give birth and inspiration to those like it.