Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nothing Odd About Frank Ocean's Future

It's a sad, but expected modern evil to get your news and current events from social networking. Facebook is always a good place to find stuff out about people you know, while Twitter has morphed into the vehicle that carries breaking news. Now any time I need to check the legitimacy of something I heard in the news, all I need to do is click the Twitter app on my iPhone and see what's trending to get confirmation.

Such was the case last week when I ended up giving @frank_ocean more of a listen when @chrisbrown went out of his way to give Frank an unsolicited compliment, saying he "reminded him of a young James Fauntleroy or Kevin Cossum." That touched a nerve evidently because it caused an all out Twitter fight that @fucktyler jumped in on. Honestly it's funny when it precipitates to a point where everyone starts talking about how tough they are like they're out to prove that they're harder than the next man. The best part of all this was when @thegame played Hip Hop police and offered some wisdom to both Frank and Tyler that only a seasoned vet who is harder than both bickering crews combined could give...
Needless to say it came as no surprise that cooler heads eventally prevailed this week with the squashing of the beef. I can see why he didn't want to be likened to the two very talented and underrated artists, but when you put out a single like Novacane, how do you not expect to be regarded as an R&B artist? Yea it's subtly in your face like everything OFWGKTA, but it's every bit radio worthy and what you'd expect from an R&B artist.

Seeing as @fauntleroy and @kevincossom are two of my favorite R&B singer/song writers, I felt like that comparison alone gave me reason enough to give his whole Nostalgia Ultra EP a listen. The mixtape was released back in February, so I'm more than a little late on it, but I was surprised at what I heard when I gave it a full listen. The EP is filled with a lot of unique, do I explain this...uniquely contemporary sounding stuff that is marked by a lot of really solid vocals. The main takeaway is that Frank has a really good voice and a really strong desire create his own unique sound. While I don't really fux with anything Odd Future has done to this point and don't really see @fucktyler's music as being more than shock value Rap, Frank Ocean gives @OFWGKTA a glimmer of hope in being appreciated rather than alienated for their unapologetically brazen music.

Below are two of my favorite cuts off the newest mixtape that you can find here at datpiff or here at livemixtapes. The first, Strawberry Swing, definitely sounds like something James Fauntleroy would have demo'd, AND THATS NOT A BAD THING FRANK. You get to see hear the vocal range and potential over a slow and steady acoustic beat.

Frank Ocean - Strawberry Swing

Probably the best track on the tape, but honorable mention goes There Will Be Tears, which is more of a heartfelt ballad that starts slow and progresses over a basic, rhythmic clap. There's good reason why Nostalgia Ultra went gold on datpiff with over 100,000 downloads of his latest tape and if you haven't followed suit with the masses already, you should do the same and catch up this week like I did...
Frank Ocean - There Will be Tears


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