The Man. The Myth. The Lengend.


Christopher Francis Breaux

aka

Frank Ocean

 
 

 

*Disclaimer*

Frank Ocean is an artist whose work transcends that of conventional mediums. Obviously he has a body of musical works released through standard issue mediums (LPs, music videos, etc.), however, there’s so much more beyond that which makes collecting and showcasing it all extraordinarily difficult. To completely provide a full, comprehensive summarization on an artistic and beautifully atypical soul like Frank Ocean, hours upon hours of meticulous and tedious Googling, researching, and digging is required, and it is not possible to include every piece of his work in this one post. I have highlighted his best and my favorite works, as well as providing biographical and pertinent artisticknowledge. 

 

Thank you.

-Management

Frank Ocean, born Christopher Lonny Breaux, made his grand entrance into this world on October 28, 1987, in Long Beach, California. As a child, Ocean’s family moved to New Orleans, where he spent most of his time as a growing up. Ocean was exposed to Jazz and all of its nurturing elements while there, and also listened to his mother’s R&B CDs.

As a high school student, Ocean began recording music and could be found completing different odd jobs just to pay for his studio time. After graduation in 2005, he enrolled at the University of New Orleans. However, as many of us know, it was in August of that year that Hurricane Katrina hit and completely destroyed the area. The recording location where Ocean was recording at the time was badly flooded, so Ocean set aside his academic ambitions and take some time to pursue his musical goals by moving back to California, headed to Los Angeles in particular.

His intention initially wasn’t to stay for as long as he has, but as he began to and continued to cultivate key relationships within the music industry, he decided to extend his stay. Ocean took a job processing insurance claims as a side hustle starting out. Eventually, he got obtained his first songwriting deal and started collaborating with producers in the area. He helped writesongs like Justin Bieber’s 2008 track “Bigger”, andsoon after he co-wrote the track “I Miss You” with Beyoncé for her album 4.

That same year, Ocean began to work with Los Angeles-based hip-hop group Odd Future, and most notably with Tyler, the Creator, who was Ocean’s key encourager to continue his songwriting. Around this time, he also met producer Tricky Stewart; Stewart helped Ocean pick up a contract with Def Jam Recorings as a solo artist. The following year, Ocean officially changed his name to Christopher Francis Ocean in an attempt to appeal to the public.

In his musical career, Ocean has birthed some of the most complex and unorthodox music for the world to enjoy. Catch some of his greatest works below.

Studio Albums

2012 – Channel Orange – Def Jam

  1. Start
  2. Thinkin Bout You
  3. Fertilizer
  4. Sierra Leone
  5. Sweet Life
  6. Not Just Money
  7. Super Rich Kids (Feat. Earl Sweatshirt)
  8. Pilot Jones
  9. Crack Rock
  10. Pyramids
  11. Lost
  12. White (Feat. John Mayer)
  13. Monks
  14. Bad Religion
  15. Pink Matter (Feat. André 3000)
  16. Forrest Gump
  17. End

channel ORANGE is Ocean’s debut studio album. It was released on July 10, 2012, by Def Jam Recordings.

Released one week earlier than its publicly announced date in order to prevent early leaking, Channel ORANGE contained five singles, including Ocean’s highest charting single to date, “Thinkin Bout You”, which was number 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Following this album release, Frank Ocean had a nation wide concert ininitating in July of 2012. Channel Orange debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and the album sold 131,000 copies in its first week of being released. This album was named the best album of 2012 by several publications, and by September of 2014, the album had sold approximately 621,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

2016 – Blonde – Boys Don’t Cry

  1. Nikes

  2. Ivy
  3. Pink + White
  4. Be Yourself
  5. Solo
  6. Skyline To
  7. Self Control
  8. Good Guy
  9. Nights
  10. Solo (Reprise)
  11. Pretty Sweet
  12. Facebook Story
  13. Close To You
  14. White Ferrari
  15. Seigfried
  16. Godspeed
  17. Futura Free

Blonde (alternatively titled Blond) is Ocean’s second studio album. It was released on Auust 20th, 2016. 

Initially titled Boys Don’t Cry, this album was reportedly set for a July 2015 release, however, the album was repetitiously delayed, and fans as well as critics of Ocean were anxious as ever creating widespread media anticipation climaxing to the album release. Its official release was paired with a magazine entitled Boys Don’t Cry.

The album was supported by lead single, “Nikes”. This single debuted at number one in numerous countries, including the United States and the UK. Within its first week of releasing, album sales were recorded to be at approximately 232,000 copies (275,000 with album-equivalent units). Ocean’s Blonde album recieved praises from fans and from critics alike, appearing on year-end lists of 2016, with Metacritic naming it “the third most critically acclaimed album of the year” by music publications.

 Visual Albums

2016 – Endless – Def Jam

  1. Device Control
  2. (At Your Best) You Are Love
  3. Alabama
  4. Mine
  5. U-N-I-T-Y
  6. Ambience 001: In A Certain Way
  7. Comme des Garçons
  8. Ambience 002: Honeybaby
  9. Wither
  10. Hublots
  11. In Here Somewhere
  12. Slide On Me
  13. Sideways
  14. Florida
  15. Deathwish (ASR)
  16. Rushes
  17. Rushes To
  18. Higgs
  19. Mitsubishi Sony
  20. Device Control (Reprise)

Endless is Ocean’s video album, which was released a day before Blonde, on August 19, 2016, Endless was Ocean’s final release with the record label Def Jam Recordings, finally fulfilling his recording contract with the record company. Endless was circulated only through Apple Music; this was a streaming-only video. Endless was later remastered and reissued on CD and vinyl on April 10, 2018, almost two years after its initial debut. 

 

Mixtapes

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The Lonny Breaux Collection 

The Lonny Breaux Collection is an unofficial compilation of songs by Frank Ocean. These songs were recorded before Ocean adopted his current stage name, hence the name Christopher ‘Lonny’ Breaux. As a songwriter and scratch vocalist, Ocean, known at the time as Breaux, recorded several demos that were eventually leaked collected by fans. Not all of the songs included were written or sung by Frank, but they are, however, one or the other.

Key tracks to notice include “Surprise Ending” and “Quickly”. These were commercially released by Brandy and John Legend, respectively.

undocumented, RARE

undocumented, RARE. is, in my opinion, a Frank Ocean fan’s best source for unreleased tracks that can’t be found on The Lonny Breaux Collection. This tape was put together with everything else by Lonny Breaux or Frank Ocean in a 5 year time span, from 2010 to 2015. This mixtape includes  features and remixes that you can’t purchase anywhere. 

The collection is basically a pairing for  The Lonny Breaux Collection. As you have both, you can be sure that you have everything that’s available for this version.

Nostalgia, Ultra

Nostalgia, Ultra is Ocean’s debut mixtape, released on February 16, 2011. Ocean cites that his inspiration for this mixtape was his big move  to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina in his native New Orleans. He also cites alternative hip hop group Odd Future as an inspiration.  Self-releasing the mixtape, without promotion. Nostalgia, Ultra features a unique R&B aesthetic with surreal themes and lyrics that one could easily say bring a feeling of nostalgia, just as the album title states. The songs primarily look at on interpersonal relationships, and Ocean does a lot of personal reflection and makes social commentary. This mixtape sat very well with critics, and the cover features a picture of a bright orange 1980s BMW E30 M3; this is Ocean’s “dream car”. 

 

Popular Singles

The following singles listed  are in chronological oder to the best of my knowledge, and these singles have an eight year release date span starting in 2018, all the way to release dates in 2010. I have also provided YouTube links for listening as well. 

 
 
 
*note: The version of Biking I’ve listen is a remix with Jay-Z and Tyler the Creator. These two artists have both had an influence on Frank’s life, or music career, and due to connections made within the industry with artists such as Jay-Z and Tyler the Creator as well as the entire Odd Future team, Frank has recieved much notoriety and recognition as time has progressed.
 

My favorite music videos

Pyramids
Swim Good
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Fun Facts about Frank ♥

Singles
Starting with the first official track released under the name Frank Ocean, we look at every single the man has dropped since 2011. 2011 "Acura Integurl" "Novacane" "Swim Good" "Pyrite (Fool's Gold) "U Got It" "4 Tears" "Scared Of Beautiful" "Thinking About You (Original)" "Disillusioned" (Live) 2012 "Blue Whale" "Voodoo" "Whip Appeal" "Wiseman" "Golden Girl" (Feat. Tyler The Creator) "Camera (Snippet)" "Forrest Gump (Instrumental)" "By Your Side" (Live Sade Cover) 2013 "Eyes Like Sky" "Pink Matter" (Remix Feat. André 3000 & Big Boi) "Pyramids" (Video Edit) "Brave" (Live) [Seigfreid] "Feel California" (Live) "Fake Plastic Trees" (Live Radiohead Cover) "All Good" (Live) [IVY] 2014 "Memrise" 2015 "You Are Luhh" 2016 "Nikes" (Feat. KOHH) 2017 "Chanel" "Chanel" (Remix Feat. A$AP Rocky) "Biking" (Feat. JAY-Z & Tyler The Creator) "Biking" (Alternate Tyler The Creator bridge) "Biking (Solo) "Lens" "Lens V2" (Feat. Travis Scott) "Slide On Me (Feat. Young Thug) "Provider" "Rolls Royce Bitch" (2 Chainz remix) "Only You" (Steve Monite live remix) 2018 "Moon River" (Audrey Hepburn cover)
Features
Frank Ocean's features have a long history with definitive stages. The Odd Future era had a bit of crossover with Frank's many appearances on top 40 charting hits from hip-hop A-listers. The second wave of Odd Future collabs came after the group separated to work on solo material, post channel ORANGE success; it was at this time Frank was becoming increasingly more reclusive. After his resurgence back on to the music scence with Blonde in 2016, Ocean's "blonded Radio" debuted new collaborations consistently throughout the show's run with some of today's greatest artists. Ocean has been featured on various songs between 2011 and 2018,these artists ranging from MellowHype and Tyler The Creator, to artists like Jay- Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, and Travis Scott
Click here for full Discography
Songwriting Credits
In addition to singing like he does and writing songs for his critically acclaimed albums, Frank has been known to pen tunes and parts for others as well. In fact, that's how he got his start. This is a list of songs with writing credits attributed to Frank that he does not sing on. 2008 "Quickly" by John Legend Frank's (demo of this song is found on The Lonny Breaux Collection.) "1st and Love" by Brandy "Locket (Locked in Love)" by Brandy 2009 "Bigger" by Justin Beiber 2011 "She DGAF" by The Internet "I Miss You" by Beyoncé 2012 "Pictures" by Connor Maynard "Scared Of Beautiful" by Brandy (Frank's demo of this song is found on The Lonny Breaux Collection.) "One Thing" by Alicia Keys 2016 "My Willing Heart" by James Blake 2017 "Don't Don't Do It!" (Feat. Kendrick Lamar) by N.E.R.D
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As stated previously, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ocean’s, you could say Endless, work within the musc industry to give the world music that they could not only listen to, but feel, relate to and feel inspired by for years to come. Ocean dares to step away from the orthodox R&B sound and gives his fans and critics sounds with earthy, futuristic, funky, and ultimately heartfelt elements.It’s hard for anyone to not fall in love with Ocean not just because of his music, but because Frank Ocean simply creates and manifests beauty in his voice, his visuals, his lyricism, and his personality. So, in the words of Frank, those new to the artistic beauty of Frank Ocean should allow his music to have you , “get fixed. right quick.”

Bottom line? Frank Ocean is Period!

Bibliography

 “50 Best Albums of 2016”. Rolling Stone. November 29, 2016. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

Breux, Christopher L. “Frank Ocean.” Frank Ocean, 2011, frankocean.tumblr.com/. Retrieved Decmber 03, 2018.

Breux, Christopher L. “Frank Ocean.” Frank Ocean, 2018, frankocean.tumblr.com/. Retreived December 03, 2018.

Breaux, Christopher L. “FRANK OCEAN.” Provider, 2016, blonded.co/. Retrieved December 03, 2018. 

Caulfield, Kevin (August 28, 2016). “Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ Bows at No. 1 on Billboard 200 With Third-Largest Debut of 2016”. Billboard. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.Jeffries, David. “Frank Ocean – Music Biography, Credits and Discography”. AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

Corcoran, Nina (August 22, 2016). Frank Ocean – Endless”. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

“Frank Ocean.” Edited by Biography.com website, Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 28 Nov. 2017, www.biography.com/people/frank-ocean-21013329. Retrieved Dec 03, 2018.

“Frank Ocean.” Edited by Discogs.com, Discogs, 2018, www.discogs.com/artist/2013868-Frank-Ocean?filter_anv=0&type=Appearances. Retreived December 03, 2018.

Kamp, Justin, et al. “Frank Ocean Announces Channel Orange, Tour Dates.” Pastemagazine.com, 8 June 2012, www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2012/06/frank-ocean-announces-new-album-channel-orange.html. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

Kellman, Andy. “Channel Orange – Frank Ocean : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards”. AllMusic. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

 Lynch, Sean (May 19, 2011). “Def Jam To Rerelease Frank Ocean’s ‘Nostaliga, Ultra'”. The Source. Retrieved Dec 03, 2018.

Montanna, Gina (January 6, 2011). “Frank Ocean Says Odd Future Inspires His Music, Talks Making of Nostalgia Ultra”. XXL. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

Noz, Andrew (April 4, 2011). “Frank Ocean: Smart And Subtle R&B Songwriting”. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

Staff (December 19, 2011). “The 25 Best Albums of 2011“. Complex. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

 “The Top 10 Best Albums”. Time. November 22, 2016. Archived from the original on November 28, 2016. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

Wolfson, Sam. “Frank Ocean’s Blonde Dissected: ‘A Cultural Artefact That Deserves to Be Studied’.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 May 2018, www.theguardian.com/music/2018/may/21/frank-ocean-album-blonde-dissect-cole-cuchna. Retrieved December 03, 2018.

Terri Wright

Terri Wright

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