Back and better, Frank Ocean finally released his second album in late August of 2016 titled Blonde after a grueling 5 years between his beloved debut album Channel Orange. Blonde exhibits Ocean’s deepest emotions and thoughts from his political views to drug use to figuring out his sexuality.
There was evident beauty and artistry in the wide array of introspective verses and dreamy instrumentals used throughout the album. Ocean even incorporated interludes of meaningful narrations. In Be Yourself, the mother of one of Frank’s childhood friends, Rosie Watson, lends him advice via voice message about how the use of illegal drugs and alcohol shouldn’t be taken lightly and that teenagers should focus on being themselves rather than to follow what the in crowd says. Although this goes against Frank Ocean’s practices involving his use of marijuana, he included this narration to explain the importance of being true to one’s self. For those who have heard all of his debut album they might remember the distinct voice off of Ocean’s Not Just Money as well. Through the use of Watson’s voice, Frank relays a message whilst being inclusive of an important figure in his childhood.
There is extensive controversy and societal opinions hidden in Frank’s verses especially regarding the abuse present in the U.S. judicial system. In Nikes, Frank pays homage to Trayvon Martin, an African American youth who was fatally shot and unjustly accused of assaulting his murderer. Frank also describes his first experiences expressing his homosexuality with an unspecified person at a gay bar in Good Guy and furthers his opinions on love and his gradual stages of fully “coming out of the closet” in Ivy. These ideals are essential and truly support the album especially because the entire purpose revolves around Frank Ocean becoming the man he is today.
The album in it’s entirety can be described as an explosion of psychedelic funk and euphoric significance. His intent is a call to action rather than an idea to ponder on. This call to action entices listeners to never give up and that dreams are worth chasing more than anything else. Don’t give up no matter what situation you’re in because Frank Ocean has been through it all and without the hardships he endured, he would never have became the musical genius he is.