Frank Ocean’s latest album Blonde, after a long wait, was a critical success and considered by many fans and industry observers to be a lock for at least one, if not multiple, Grammy awards come the 2017 ceremony. However, the submission deadline came and went and the album wasn’t entered into consideration for the yearly music fete. Now, in a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times (his first full interview in many years) which ranges from why he doesn’t care about this year’s Grammys to his major career changes to whether he’s been in love since Channel Orange was released, Ocean answers that question and many more.
In the interview, Ocean discusses how agreeing to perform at shows like the Grammys or the VMA’s was based on how those types of institutions affected him before he was up to his neck in the industry itself, and how he’s jealous that Daft Punk can be in public without being recognized in an instant. In regards to the Grammys and not submitting Blonde by the deadline, Ocean admitted…
“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” he said. “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.”
“I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated. I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.”
Since he does not specify that he is boycotting the Grammys specifically because of the oppression of minorities and marginalized populations, it might not be a one-to-one comparison with Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest, but it’s a valid opinion of high-profile awards shows all the same. Ocean’s desire not to do publicity or continuing catering to awards shows can be linked back to other comments in the interview where he is reticent to allow his image to get out of his control. He admits to carrying all of his recording hard drives and backups with him when traveling just in case something horrific was to happen. As he says,
“I’d rather the plane goes down in flames and the drives go down with me than somebody put out a weird posthumous release.”
And to answer the question touched upon above: no. Ocean says that he hasn’t had a “lasting” type of love since his last album came out four years ago. Here’s to the next four years, hopefully there will be another Frank Ocean album before that window has passed again.
(via The New York Times)