Christopher Francis Breaux
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.
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.
2012 – Channel Orange – Def Jam
- Thinkin Bout You
- Sierra Leone
- Sweet Life
- Not Just Money
- Super Rich Kids (Feat. Earl Sweatshirt)
- Pilot Jones
- Crack Rock
- White (Feat. John Mayer)
- Bad Religion
- Pink Matter (Feat. André 3000)
- Forrest Gump
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
- Pink + White
- Be Yourself
- Skyline To
- Self Control
- Good Guy
- Solo (Reprise)
- Pretty Sweet
- Facebook Story
- Close To You
- White Ferrari
- 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.
2016 – Endless – Def Jam
- Device Control
- (At Your Best) You Are Love
- Ambience 001: In A Certain Way
- Comme des Garçons
- Ambience 002: Honeybaby
- In Here Somewhere
- Slide On Me
- Deathwish (ASR)
- Rushes To
- Mitsubishi Sony
- 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.
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. 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 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”.
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.
My favorite music videos
Fun Facts about Frank ♥
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 Inventive... Admirable... A True Artist... The Greatest Alternative R&B Artist of all time Period!
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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.
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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.