Some would consider Frank Ocean’s debut album “Channel Orange” a masterpiece, while others would deem it his coming out soundtrack – regardless the artist and album have been causing a large commotion in the media once again and not for the 6 Grammy Nominations. Recent interview with “The Guardian” a UK publication foreshadowed that Channel Orange will be Frank’s first and final album. Now of course in normal Frank fashion, his sentences are cleverly cryptic which allows your imagination to run wild at what the artist is truly insinuating. In today’s brainwashed society, artist must constantly let loose large quantities of music because that’s what the consumer has grown accustomed too. The next iPod probably won’t have a rewind button; it’s all about moving forward and staying in the never ending “now”. Your new single is yesterday news at the stroke of midnight, without a big name remix or a high budget video on an exotic beach casting women equipped with full moon butts you’ll be placed in a box with Andy’s old toys. Yet, here we have an artist that would be my personal pick to take over the R&B throne for the new generation (a throne stained by R.Kelly’s piss and left over Trey Songz braids) who isn’t going to play by the unwritten rules of industry standard. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier. I much rather my favorite artist put out 1 Channel Orange than 3 God Forgives, I Don't.
Please don’t crucify me because I put Frank Ocean and Rick Ross in the same sentence. Hear me out, Frank Ocean put out 1 project this year and a handful of excellent features; compared to Rick Ross who’s released an album, two mixapes, 1 compilation tape, and uncountable amount of features. Despite his high echelon grunting, Ricky Rozay didn’t put quality over quantity – he prides himself on feeding the streets but I rather have one great meal than the same appetizers with the promise of grand buffet. There’s this misconception that it’s an oversaturation because it’s too many artist but in reality it’s just too much MUSIC. It’s like living during the gold rush but instead of searching for gold, we are downloading an obscene amount of music looking for something amazing. We want whatever will give us a euphoric feeling of awesomeness, something that’s going to spark a fire in us, or at least leave a lasting impression. Consumers desire only your best effort rather it takes you 6 weeks or 6 months – you can keep the crap for the unisex restrooms. Create greatness or nothing at ALL.
Treat music like child birth. I don’t mean get drunk, and raw dog the first microphone you see. Fall in love with an idea and explore the dalliance of it before attempting to plant your seed. Allow yourself time to find inspiration-get off the internet and live a little. Experience will always be the greatest inspiration. Then you begin molding the idea with sound, search for producers that can create what you visualize. This is where imagination is the weapon that should be the sharpest, and this is what can be considered the first trimester. Without direction of the sound you’re bound to have a miscarriage, this is also where you should consider aborting the idea. You aren’t in too deep, you’re able to reboot and find a new lover. Now as you begin the development stage of the second trimester, you’re starting to decide what you want to say. What message are you trying to convey. At this point in our lives it’s almost safe to assume everything great has already been written, the best punchlines have been thrown, the cleverest metaphors have been quoted. This shouldn’t discourage you, this is where you’re creativity and personality is your greatest assets. They belong to you alone and can’t be replicated so use them to entertain and teach. Third trimester is where you allow yourself to record. Each song should be recorded as If it’s your last. Cater to them and they will be received by your audience as if you recorded on December 20th. Begin picking a single, plot marketing strategies and visual adaptations. By the time the recording process is done and the mixing has begun you should start to pick the date of birth for the project, cleverly think of ways to spread the word and even throw a baby shower(listening session) for fans of previous work. Then once you’ve done all you could to prepare the coming of your latest musical offspring you give him to the world and hope they love it just as much as you do. Then you wait 2 months before having sex again.
New artist, upcoming artist, mainstream artist, you are asked nothing but to create the most immaculate body of work that’s humanly possible. Music might not be the most profitable industry, but it’s still one of the rawest art forms that impact lives. Frank Ocean can walk away from music knowing he gave the world something that wasn’t short of his best. He’ll be sought after for his talents, not the controversy that haunts him. Let’s get out of the studios and embrace life for a bit. This endless flux of putting out music and putting out more music has to STOP. The blogs are cluttered, iPods are full, and I’m for one am annoyed. Take that passion to overcome the naysayers , use that hunger for greatness, take your tragedies, your victories, and whatever else that’s been fueling the fire to break the fourth dimension to create one priceless compact disc. It’s your baby by Immaculate Conception and regardless if it’s met by praised or disgust you’ve created a piece of you for the world to hear. Give me something I’ll never forget, and when it’s time for you to fade to black you’ll leave knowing that at least you gave the world something worthy of the word “art”