Mostly anything released from the mic of R&B’s newly label-free artist Frank Ocean instantly becomes a fan favorite and is held in high esteem.
From his sophomore album Blonde hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 to dangerous digital threats from Twitter in anticipation of the album, fans were certain of a Grammy nod after Ocean’s hiatus. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the “Novacane” crooner from refusing to submit the project for consideration for the 2017 Grammy Awards anyway. The reason behind the decision, he tells the New York Times, is quite simple: “it’s dated.”
“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” the Boys Don’t Cry independent label head claimed. “It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”
He included that the Grammys reached out to him and his team despite his team missing the submission deadline for the awards. For him, the isolation from such a heralded Hollywood occasion is what he called a “Colin Kaepernick moment.”
His stance may not be all that surprising, though, seeing as though conversation surrounding the selection process of the Recording Academy has long been a hot debate in hip-hop and other urban genres. Joining him for the Kaepernick moment is Kanye West, who said that if Ocean’s album wasn’t nominated, you could kiss a Yeezy appearance at the ceremony goodbye.
Now that Ocean is not tied to a record label, he wants to exercise his creative freedom in ways that might not include music as well.
“I believe that I’m one of the best in the world at what I do, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be,” he asserted. “It’s more interesting for me to figure out how to be superior in areas where I’m naïve, where I’m a novice.”
Regardless of where he takes his art next, let’s just hope he doesn’t pull another Houdini on us, right?
(Photo: Samir Hussein/Redferns via Getty Images)