What Part of The Game Is That?!?!?! - My Frank Ocean Theory

Posted On Monday, January 28, 2013

I like to think of myself as a music fiend. And through my 38 years of living, I truly haven't found myself behind the 8 ball (my saying for not being up on something) too many times. But within the past 2 years, I've felt left out...a lot. Currently, I'm feeling left out of all of this Frank Ocean hoopla cause quite frankly, I just don't get it. I heard songs here and there, I've heard some of his projects and I actually just got finished riding with his debut album "Channel Orange" for the past three days so I coud REALLY give the dude a good quality listen. All in hopes of being one of the "cool kids" that LOVE this dude. But even after having Frank Ocean on repeat for the past 72 hours...I STILL don't get it. I mean dude isn't wack but I swear EVERY artists, blog, website, radio station, DJ, writer, music enthusiest down to the everyday fan SWEARS this dude is the next "one" and I just don't see it. On top of that, I've read things about Frank Ocean that has simply baffled me. And these are things that his FANS have said about him. Not from nonbelievers like me but from the people who I know SWEAR by the man. These people have made statements to me like "I know he's not the best singer"...I'm sorry, what happened? He's not the best singer. See, what part of the game is that?

You're telling me that the savior of R&B is a dude who really can't sing? Word? That's like telling me that LeBron is the savior of the NBA but he really can't play. Now does that make any sense...to ANYONE? I've also heard his fans say "his live stage show can use some work." Hold tight, so not only is this dude NOT the best singer but now his stage show needs some work but again, money's the savior of R&B?!?!? I mean, what is it that everyone else is hearing that I'm not? The ONLY song I walked away from "Channel Orange" REALLY feeling is "Think Bout You." Now that song is DOPE! But the rest of the album sounds like bad techno & some broke sounding Drake production meets HBO's Def Poetry to me. And that right there may be it. Maybe I'm not deep enough for Frank Ocean. Which makes sense cause I don't do the "deep" thing. Never liked "that" kinda poetry...ya'll know what I'm talking about. That, "help meeeeeeee see the world, (and then they speed up real fast) but the world is so small I can't see it and then I'm lost but (then they slow down) I...see...the...world...as...me." Yeah, I don't do that deep stuff. In fact, hell would be making me watch HBO's Def Poetry on repeat...for eternity. (that and "Dirty Dancing") Then this site Metacritic.com gave it a 92/100. A f-cking 92 outta 100?!?!?! Are you f-cking kidding me? Now this 92/100 is based off of 32 professional reviews of the album and the score of 92 makes it the highest ranked R&B album EVER! (while Nas'"Life Is Good" got a 77/100...WTF?!?!?!) Now again, I'm not saying dude sucks or he's the worst singer I've ever heard. But to me, money is just "aiight" and "aiight" at best. And if the rest of the universe felt the same, I'd get it. But since the rest of the world thinks R&B is lost without this dude (while D'Angelo AND Maxwell both are on tap to drop new albums this year) THAT'S where I'm lost.

See, back in the days when cats like D'angelo dropped "Brown Sugar" and Maxwell dropped "Urban Hang Suite" I could see THOSE dudes being the saviors of R&B. Their music was GREAT, they could sing, their production was incredible and their music was timeless. I can put both of those albums on 17 years after they dropped and appreciate them even MORE now then I did when I first heard them. And both of these artists have gone MIA for LONG periods of time but their fans have waited patinetly on both of them to drop something new. Do cats HONESTLY think anyone is gonna be playing "Channel Orange" 10 months from now let alone 10 years from now? I SERIOUSLY doubt it. And the wild thing is the dude who SHOULD be being praised as the next "one" (and I wouldn't even come close to calling him the savior...and that's NO dis to him either) is my dude Aloe Blacc. And what kills me is this dude's album (that's ranked 82 on metacritic) is one of the strongest albums I've heard in the last 10 years but I know a RACK of cats who have never heard of dude 'til I tell them he sings "I Need A Dollar." (the opening song from HBO's "How To Make It In America") So, Aloe Blacc goes under the radar with an INCREDIBLE album where the singing, production and songwriting is damn near flawless while Frank Ocean is praised as the savior with this weirdo, techno pop, "I'm so deep" sound? I guess it's like Dre said, "things just ain't the same..."

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