Frank Ocean’s definitely had the best year ever and he’s just getting started. At 25-years-old, he’s been called the best breakout star of 2012. And other celebs are throwing major accolades his way; John Mayer says he’s “heroic” and Pharrell says he’s “incredible”. If you’re a loyal Crushable reader you probably remember when we named him as number 2 on our 25 Crushable Guys Under 25 way back in spring 2012. But since then his career’s blown up in the best way possible and we thought that people might be a little confused as to where he came from. Believe it or not, he didn’t just appear out of thin air. Nope, he worked hard to get where he is today.
So in honor of the upcoming 2013 Grammy Awards (where’s he obviously nominated), we’ve put together this timeline to help you become the Frank Ocean know-it-all among all of your friends. Because what’s the fun of watching the Grammy Awards if you can’t drop all kinds of facts about the stand-out act?!
2005: While living in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed Frank Ocean’s career. He had recently recorded some songs at a local recording studio that ended up being looted. So he packed up and moved to LA with a plan to rerecord his music. He never returned to New Orleans.
After moving to LA, he began writing songs for artists such as Justin Bieber and Beyonce Knowles. Check out this cover he did of a song he wrote for Beyonce
2009: He met members of the alternative rap group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (aka OFWGKTA or Odd Future) whom you’ve probably never heard of — and started to collaborate with them on their debut album.
2010: Frank Ocean legally changed his name from Christopher Breaux to Christopher Francis Ocean, then joined Odd Future and officially became the group’s singer. You can hear him come in around the 2:22 mark — it’s the point where his singing gives the song a whole new feel.
2011: Frank released his first mixtape Nostalgia,Ultra which had two singles “Novacane” and “Swim Good”.
If you haven’t heard it yet, download it immediately and watch this while you wait.
Also make sure you check out the song “We All Try” which is my personal favorite because it features the foreshadowing line “I believe that marriage isn’t between a man and woman but between love and love.”
It was during that summer that a feud between Frank Ocean and Chris Brown ignited over Twitter. Frank Ocean (obviously) triumphed by calling Chris Brown a young Ike Turner.
2012: In June of last year Frank opened up publicly on his Tumblr about falling in love with another man at the age of 19. Everyone was pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of support from the hip hop community, a notoriously homophobic industry. Artists from Fat Joe to Beyonce to Russell Simmons congratulated him on his bravery and contributions to acceptance in the hip hop community. Beyonce even wrote him a heartfelt poem saying how inspirational and brave he was to come out.
In July Channel Orange was released and Frank Ocean’s rise to success seemed to skyrocket. Rumors that he came out as a publicity stunt started to circulate, because we all know that saying you like men has helped so many r&b singers and rappers’ careers in the past.
In December, after a crazy and awesome year, the announcement came that Frank Ocean was nominated for six Grammy’s.
2013: He made headlines early this year because everyone’s favorite horrible-human-being, Chris Brown, started a fight with Frank Ocean over a parking spot! A freaking parking spot, you know those things that parking lots are full of! Frank, being the mature guy we love, decided to take the high road on this one and is not pressing charges.
So despite Chris Brown’s best efforts to drag Frank Ocean down to his level, Frank is still soaring on his six Grammy Nominations. (Six!) We predict he’s gonna be the big winner this year and we expect him to keep doing amazing things in music as well as in the LGBT hip hop community in 2013.
Good luck Frank, we’re rooting for you!
(Photo: Darla Khazei, PacificCoastNews.com)