Celebrating Black History Month – Frank Ocean

Alivia Stonier, Senior Editor

Frank Ocean, best known for his music in the pop and alternative R&B genre, is a strong voice within the music industry that deserves to be celebrated this Black History Month.

Ocean deserves this honor because he  is somebody who expresses himself candidly within his creative work and does not hold back in sharing an organic experience. He is an important voice for self-expression for men of color within the music industry. 

Born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana, the thirty three year old artist  has certainly made a name for himself. He began his career as a ghostwriter, and later being part of Odd Future, a hip hop group is associated with other artists such as Tyler the Creator. 

Ocean would later go on to create his own music with notable albums such as Channel Orange and Blonde, with Blonde debuting number one on the US music charts in 2016. 

 It is within these albums that fans were able to truly connect with the artist and feel seen with songs that openly discuss love and emotion in a raw and honest way. He is not afraid of opening up. 

This vulnerability was especially notable on his song “Chanel” in which  the artist details his experience falling in love with a man and exploring his sexuality. Many fans that are in the lgbtq+ community first began to identify with this song and continue to appreciate his work. 

His message doesn’t end there as he talks about his personal experiences within his work and his relationship with masculinity as a queer man of color. 

This display of emotion and courage within his craft has not gone unnoticed within the music industry as he has won multiple awards. Among these awards were two different Grammys he received one in particular for the best progressive album within the R&B genre in 2013. 

I had the opportunity to speak with a fan on how they have been able to connect with the artist and what his work means to them. 

“Frank Ocean is someone who through his art is able to resonate with people and make them feel represented. He is an important voice especially as a person of color within the industry. He also holds a unique perspective that speaks to a more progressive worldview that is worth being heard,” said Amber 17. 

The impact Ocean has had on youth and even other age groups is clear, especially in today’s society it is important to hear from diverse voices.

The last release the world saw from Ocean was two singles as of last year and the last previous album dating back to 2016.

Due to the serious events of this past year in 2020 and the state the world has been in, the artist has called off his newest album being released.

Despite his absence in releasing an album the artist’s fanbase has grown due to popularity of his song “Godspeed” on the popular social media app TikTok.

Fans definitely look forward to what he has to say in his new work and what he will share with the world when the time is right.