How much is Frank Ocean worth?
|Net Worth:||$15 Million|
|Date of Birth:||October 28, 1987|
|Country:||United States of America|
“4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Every day almost, and on the day we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. — Frank Ocean, revealing details about his sexuality on his Tumblr blog, July 4, 2012.
Who Is Frank Ocean
The man who would eventually become known as Frank Ocean grew up loving music and began singing as a child. He grew up listening to both R&B; and New Orleans jazz, and was a fan of such ’80s artists as Anita Baker, whom his mother was a fan of. By the time he was a teenager, he had decided to become a singer, and began to work on songs for a demo. During this time, he worked odd jobs, including mowing lawns and washing cars to earn money to finance his music venture.
In 2005, he enrolled in the University of New Orleans and had recently moved into his dorm when Hurricane Katrina struck in August of that year. The storm, along with looters, eventually wiped out the facility he’d been recording music at, which led to him relocating to Los Angeles to continue pursuing his dream.
Real name: Christopher “Lonny” Breaux. Born: Oct. 28, 1987 in Long Beach, California, but moved to Louisiana as a child. He was raised primarily in New Orleans, then moved to the Los Angeles area in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.
After arriving in Los Angeles, Ocean recorded more demo songs and began to shop them around. During his travels around the L.A. music scene, he landed a songwriting deal that led to him writing material for John Legend and Brandy, among others. In 2009, he met and befriended members of the hip-hop group collective commonly known as Odd Future and began to work with them as the group’s lone singer. That same year, Ocean signed a deal as a solo artist with the Def Jam label, partially at the recommendation to fellow songwriter Christopher “Tricky” Stewart. For the next two years, he worked with Odd Future on various mixtapes and official releases, while also being groomed by Def Jam for the release of his debut album.
By late 2010, Ocean’s relationship with Def Jam had become strained and in early 2011, he self-released a mixtape/EP called Nostalgia, Ultra. Although not an official release, the mixtape gained widespread notoriety, and his label eventually took notice and released two of the songs as singles, “Novacane” and “Swim Good.” Plans were also made to Nostalgia, Ultra. through official channels, but the project didn’t come to fruition, partially because of difficulty clearing samples used on some songs, most significantly rock band The Eagles’ refusal to allow the instrumental version of their 1977 hit “Hotel California” be used, which Ocean did without clearing it on the mixtape song “American Wedding.”
Ocean eventually recorded a new album, Channel Orange, with released planned for mid-2012. Days before the album’s release, critics receiving early copies began to write about the lyrics of some songs, which referenced male-male romantic relationships in the lyrics, rather then the traditional male-female roles. In response to rumors that he could be gay or bisexual, Ocean posted an open letter on his website stating that when he was 19, he fell in love with a man and that the two had spent two summers together. His revelation came as a surprise to many, but he also received support from his music industry peers, some of whom he had worked with in the past, including Beyonce. When Channel Orange was released, it included two songs that were expressly about loving or lusting after a man, “Bad Religion” and “Forrest Gump.”
In the days prior to Frank Ocean releasing his debut album, Channel Orange, his musical career was overshadowed by an open letter he posted online revealing that the first love of his life had been a man. But now that the shockwaves have subsided, the attention is back to being where it should be: on the music. And Channel Orange, which was released digitally July 10, 2012 and is a very solid album. It’s strongest attribute is Ocean’s knack for uniquely creative lyrical narratives. He brings a fresh perspective to the music world that’s much needed these days, particularly within the R&B; genre, which is currently overloaded with cliched, cookie cutter and copycat vocalists.
One of the better examples of Frank Ocean’s creativity as a songwriter is the opening lines of album’s first full song, “Thinkin’ Bout You,” where he sings: “A tornado flew around my room before you came, excuse the mess it made/It usually doesn’t rain in Southern California, much like Arizona/My eyes don’t shed tears, but boy they bawl when I’m thinkin’ ’bout you.” With those words, Ocean not only manages to reveal his knack for creative excuses, but exposes himself as an emotionally vulnerable man (the “rain” he sings about is his tears), plus pays tribute to the classic song “It Never Rains in Southern California.” Like most of his lyrics, they seem surface deep at first and it can take repeated listenings of the full song sometimes to actually get the true meaning because of the various metaphors and similes utilized.
Another thing the song does is establish an underlying, ongoing theme that recurs at various points throughout the album: life and living in the greater Los Angeles area. The song that most overtly pushes the theme is “Sweet Life,” a tale about a rich kid who’s been so insulated and spoiled so much while growing up in the L.A. neighborhood of Ladera Heights — aka “the black Beverly Hills” — that they have no curiosity about anything outside their little bubble. Or as Frank rhetorically puts it in the song: “You’ve had a landscaper and a housekeeper since you were born, the sunshine always kept you warm/So why see the world when you’ve got the beach?”
Ocean, who moved to Los Angeles from New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, again delves into the topic of Southern California’s wealthy on “Super Rich Kids,” where he and another future legend, rapper Earl Sweatshirt, vividly detail the life of a well-off latchkey kid: “Too many joyrides in Daddy’s Jaguar, too many white lies and white lines, super rich kids with nothin’ but loose ends, super rich kids with nothin’ but fake friends.”
For those curious, Ocean does explore love and romance on numerous Channel Orange songs, but none are particularly explicit, and on just two — “Bad Religion” and “Forrest Gump” — does he refer to a romantic interest as a “he.” On “Bad Religion,” Ocean sings of unrequited love and accompanying guilt: “I can never make him love me,” he mournfully croons. “Only a bad religion would have me feel the way I do.” And on the playfully sensual “Forrest Gump,” Ocean tastefully sings about lusting after a rugged yet gentle athlete whom he’s given a pet nickname: “Forrest Gump you run my mind boy, runnin’ on my mind, boy,” he sings. But interestingly, the most involved song about relationships and romance — if it can even be called that — is “Pyramids,” a 10-minute, time-spanning opus whose first half takes place in ancient Egypt, while the second is set in a modern-day hotel room.
Overall, not every track on Channel Orange works — the cluttered track “Monks” most notably, which sounds like a glorified demo — but this is an album definitely worth picking up. Although some may find it a difficult listen at first because it’s complex narratives can be hard to digest and are much different from the overly simplistic R&B; that’s typically spoon-fed to the masses these days, repeated listening helps you understand the full picture. And when it comes to the big picture, Channel Orange could very well go down as one of the best, most important R&B; albums of not only of the year, but of the entire decade.