After what seemed like an infinite amount of time of Frank Ocean being out of the public eye, with no music releases, music videos, interviews, etc., only keeping up with his Tumblr page blog entries, 2016 was his resurgence year. It’s clear that he will continue to take over 2017 and make up for lost time.
After fans were teased for months and months back in 2015 of a follow-up album to Channel Orange (2012), the album Blonde, originally given the name “Boys Don’t Cry,” was released 4 years later in 2016. Prior to releasing the album, Ocean streamed his first visual album Endless on Apple Music, leading up to the release of Blonde. The live stream showed Ocean making a hand-made staircase with the album playing in the background. It was a long process that took patience, attention to detail, and ambiguity, which is a perfect metaphor for the creation and process of Blonde.
Since releasing Blonde, Ocean teamed up with Beats 1 Radio to have his own show “Blonded Radio,” which first aired on February 24 of this year, where he curates his own selection of music that varies from old hits to new, and has consistently given fans a new single with every episode. On this first episode, he played the Calvin Harris and Migos collaboration “Slide,” where the rap group, the DJ, and the R&B singer fused all their elements together to create a song that’s sure to be a summer hit. Ocean also featured an interview with rapper Jay Z on the first episode discussing the state of modern radio.
Blonded Radio episode two gave us “Chanel,” where the opening line,”My guy pretty like a girl,” had some suggesting the use of Chanel and how their logo is double-sided indicates his attraction to both genders. The song sent Twitter going crazy, much like with every new song he reveals on Blonded Radio, with people tweeting their reactions as they listened to the track.
when Frank Ocean releases music more than once within a 4 year time frame pic.twitter.com/oEq2ennnDC
— kaitlin (@kaitsface) March 11, 2017
The song also has a second version to it, which features a guest verse from A$AP Mob member A$AP Rocky.
On the third installment of Ocean’s radio show with Beats 1, we got to hear a collab with Tyler, the Creator and Jay Z. It seems like an unlikely mix, but since both artists have worked prior with Ocean, they knew how to make a song together and the result was a melody that speaks on the cycles of life and riding through ’em, like bikes. With Tyler’s raspy and deep words, along with Jay Z’s old-school style vocals blended with Ocean’s soothing yet sturdy singing, “Biking” is yet another melodious song from Ocean.
Aside from the “Chanel” second version that features a verse from A$AP Rocky, “Lens” is my personal favorite collab from all the new music Ocean has released so far on Blonded Radio. It surprised me, as well as everyone on Twitter that tweeted about it, to hear the Houston rapper Travis Scott during the end of “Lens,” which premiered on the fourth episode.
The latest episode of Ocean’s radio show revealed a side of ATL rapper Young Thug that is hardly seen in his own music. The remix of “Slide on Me” premiered on the fifth episode of Blonded Radio, with the original version having initinally released on Ocean’s visual album Endless. On this track, to match Ocean’s vibe and the melody of the song, Thugger showcases his singing talents and proves his voice is multifaceted, and adding that special element made the remix to “Slide on Me” a noteworthy Frank Ocean song.
There is yet to be an official released single of the song.
Based on what we’ve heard, and at the rate we’ve been able to listen to new material from Ocean, I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next and most importantly, hearing what’s next. On the next installment of Blonded Radio, I, as well as other fans, expect to hear yet another new single, whether it features an unexpected artist as they have been, or solo. And if for some reason Ocean drops the ball on the continuous new music on each episode, we’ll just listen to the great selection of music he curates for each show.