The world of Frank Ocean is one that deserves a deep dive with a clear conscience and open mind. The artist has been referred to as avant-garde in the past, as well as introspective and elliptical. However, I often take a peek into Ocean’s discography and see him as a shapeshifter of sort, capable of not only working in any genre, but excelling in each and every one.
Ocean’s accolades are an accurate reflection of his cultural significance within the Gen-Z community. He’s been awarded two Grammy’s, a Brit award for the best international male solo artist, and was listed on Rolling Stones’ 500 Greatest Albums of all Time in 2020.
Keep reading as I uncover five of Ocean’s most important tracks. They might not be your favourite, or even his best five. But these are five songs that you need to know about.
Maybe not your favourite double C’s, but definitely one that everyone can afford. Chanel is a cult staple among neo-soul enthusiasts everywhere. In this particular track, his vocals shine through with a pristine, angelic tone while the beat carries itself through your body.
In a true rendition of a cult takeover, Chanel has become revitalized in a completely different tone through a certain, popping house artist. Fred Again … released a take on the tune on all platforms except Spotify and Apple Music.
In this variation, Chanel is brought to a completely new level alongside Fred Again’s live play-in. Check it out below!
A completely and utterly slept-on track from channel ORANGE, Pink Matter features Andre 3000 from Outkast in a tone that we rarely hear from the OG. At first, Frank Ocean carries himself in a typical manner: Head bobbing, extended wobbly vibrato’s, and of course, heart-thrashing lyrics.
Andre 3000 enters the frame about two-thirds into the track, dissecting his relationship with women as someone in the limelight. In a unique fashion, we learn about the perils of dating so-called “regular” people as a celebrity musician.
Coming in from a totally different angle is Slide, a bubblegum, summer banger that features a few unfamiliar faces in his discography. In true Ocean fashion, he maintains the same flow and evocative voice that we experience in other tracks. Although, we’re treated to a little bit more hype, presumably due to the energy of the Migos.
Pink + White
Pink + White is simply one of those tracks that get it done in every department. It’ll have you vibing in the kitchen with your significant other, bobbing your head while doing work, crying in your room, or even flying down the highway jamming out. Well, I can’t promise any of that. Although, I can promise that this song will have you thinking you know how to play the piano because once that riff comes out, you’ll be playing the air keys.
A bit out of the left field, Swim Good is an underrated single from 2011 that combines Ocean’s staple sound with some of the pop aspects of Slide. It truly gives main character energy, sprinkled with a little bit of mid-2000s flair and topped with good vibes.
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