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Frank Ocean released his critically acclaimed debut album ‘channel ORANGE’ 10 years ago this week

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10 years ago this week, Frank Ocean released his debut album ‘channel ORANGE’ which changed the public perception of what it means to be black, famous, and gay in America and R&B music would never be the same.


Frank initially announced the album on his Tumblr account and named it after the color that reminded him of the summer he first fell in love. 


Days before the album was released, Ocean penned a letter on Tumblr which was the first time he publicly opened up about his ***uality and how he had come to the realization that romantic interests could be dynamic. Ocean made no grand declaration about his ***uality, assigned himself no label, only described a youthful and unrequited love that left such an impact it served as the inspiration for the music that would be his formal introduction to the world.


‘channel ORANGE’ made space for a new generation of R&B artists to embrace complex storytelling, idiosyncratic references and bracing vulnerability. Ocean tackled issues such as unrequited love, codependency, classism, religion, ***uality, feminism, escapism, toxic male entitlement, single parent households, **** abuse, and economic inequality. Throughout the album, Ocean pays homage to classic films including Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown”, Robert Zemeckis’ “Forrest Gump” and the iconic “Cleopatra”.


The album is credited for shaping the landscape of what we now know as PBR&B in the 2010s decade which blended contemporary R&B with musical elements such as rock, hip-hop, EDM, dream pop, cloud rap, neo-soul, jazz, chillwave, trap and funk opening a lane for artists like SZA, Bryson Tiller, Tinashe, Ari Lennox, Khalid, H.E.R. and many others.


 ‘channel ORANGE’ sold 131K units in its first week landing on #2 on the Billboard 200 and was the biggest album to come out of the Odd Future collective. The album was met with unanimous critical praise and remains as one of the most acclaimed R&B albums of all time, topping many year-end lists from several major publications. It is regarded as the greatest debut album of the 2010s decade.


(Photo courtesy of @/chartfrank on Twitter)

Ocean went on to receive 6 Grammy Award nominations including ‘Album of the Year’, ‘Record of the Year’, and ‘Best New Artist’. Ocean ended up winning ‘Best Urban Contemporary Album’ in addition to ‘Best Rap/Sung Collaboration’ for “No Church in the Wild” with JAY-Z at the 2013 ceremony.


Exhale, what are your memories of this cultural reset? Let us know in the comments below. :sendinglove_kissing_heart_love_blowing:


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