Tag Archives: frank ocean

Frank Ocean feat. Kendrick Lamar – Bend Ya

Frank Ocean x Kendrick Lamar - Bend Ya

Yo Frank Ocean is going hardcore. All his stuff is good. After that just absolute golden album in “Channel Orange”, we finally have a look at his track “Bend Ya” featuring Kendrick Lamar. A minute-and-half snippet was released back in July of 2011, and now we have the early signs of this smooth track. It may or may not be the final version, but thanks to DJ Green, we get a full look at this song. Kendrick Lamar drops some kickass lyics and Frank Ocean is always doing his thing, keeping the song flowing with his sleek voice. Also the end, we get some verses from Shawn Chrystopher. All with this sick beat? Another great Frank Ocean. But what do you expect now? He’s fucking great.

Lyrics so far:
[Chorus: Frank Ocean]
All the spoons in my kitchen
(Bend, they bend, they bend, they bend, they bend)
Bend ya up, and bend ya back down
All the girls in my bedroom
(They bend, they bend, they bend, they bend, they bend)
Bend ya in and bend ya in and bend ya back out
All the rules to this game, oh I
(Bend, I bend, I bend, I bend)
Bend it girl, bend it girl

[Verse: Kendrick Lamar]
Uhh, soon as I enter
I put a hurtin on it if I don’t kill it she injured
For a long time, summer, spring and winter
Fall for anything, you clumsy ass nigga
Jumping off the boat in some eighty-seven locs
She’s seen them hundred spokes, and then that woman spoke
But I don’t talk back,I put my life on tracks
If that don’t work put your wife on track
Show me where the candle wax, it must be you
Because I burn right through everything y’all do
High octane when I bring on my last name
Mr. Lamar a.k.a “The Cash King”
Quicker than pre-cum won’t you give her a reason
to not meet/meat up with me like a vegan
Psssh! God Damn I’m the fuckin man
She said fuck her man, now she fuck with man


Stronger Than Ever; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ Latest: “Same Love feat. Mary Lambert”

Seattle needs to just bow down to Macklemore down. Regardless of the arguments about who is the best rapper in Seattle, you have to give credit to Macklemore for doing his business. Collabing again with Ryan Lewis to create this beautiful track about the inequality and unfairness directed towards the homosexuals in this world, he speaks about the hate and prejudice that is seen everywhere. From the hip-hop community to those that sit at home on their computers. Macklemore really speaks the truth and everything is down to earth and crazy deep. Ryan Lewis keeps that smooth beat going that just pulls you straight into the song and Mary Lambert? Damn that girl can really sing. I love everything about this song. Can you believe he had it done in April but waited so long for it? Doesn’t matter, this song is perfect. Great poem-like lyrics, beat, singing and best of all, fantastic message. From Macklemore himself, he says

This song is a humble submission to help bring this conversation to the surface, so that we can reflect on the language we use, and how powerful it can be. Rethinking, and understanding the gravity of how we communicate with each other. Change happens when dialogue happens. When we confront our prejudice and are honest with ourselves, there is room for growth, and there is room for justice. 

Read the rest of what he said about the song and others here

Read these lyrics and just appreciate everything about it:

[Piano Intro]

[Verse 1: Macklemore]
When I was in the 3rd grade
I thought that I was gay
Cause I could draw,
 my uncle was

And I kept my room straight
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She’s like, “Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-K”

Trippin’, yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she
A bunch of stereotypes all in my head
I remember doing the math like
“Yeah, I’m good a little league”

A pre-conceived idea of what it all meant
For those who like the same sex had the characteristics
The right-wing conservatives think its a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion

Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition
Playing God
Ahh nah, here we go
America the brave
Still fears, what, we don’t know
And God loves all His children
Is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written
35 hundred years ago
I don’t know

[Hook: Mary Lambert]
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love

She keeps me warm [x4]

[Verse 2: Macklemore]
If I was gay
I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately
“Man that’s gay”
Gets dropped on the daily
We’ve become so numb to what we’re sayin’

Our culture founded from oppression
Yeah, we don’t have acceptance for ’em
Call each other faggots
Behind the keys of a message board
A word routed in hate
Yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender and skin color
Complexion of your pigment
The same fight that lead people to walk-outs and sit-ins
It’s human rights for everybody
There is no difference
Live on! And be yourself!
When I was in church
They taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service
Those words aren’t anointed
And that Holy Water
That you soak in
Is then poisoned
When everyone else
Is more comfortable
Remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans
That have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same
But that’s not important
No freedom ’til we’re equal
Damn right I support it
[Trumpet]
I don’t know

[Hook: Mary Lambert]
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm [x4]

[Verse 3: Macklemore]
We press play
Don’t press pause
Progress, march on!
With a veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
‘Till the day
That my uncles can be united by law
Kids are walkin’ around the hallway
Plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful
Someone would rather die
Than be who they are
And a certificate on paper
Isn’t gonna solve it all
But it’s a damn good place to start
No law’s gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever god you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love
About time that we raised up

[Hook: Mary Lambert]
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm [x4]

[Outro: Mary Lambert]
Love is patient, love is kind
Love is patient (not cryin’ on Sundays)
Love is kind (not crying on Sundays) [x5]


Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange Tour: Show Review

Channel Orange Tour

Tonight, the audience in Seattle got an enjoyable experience of having a few unique factors play into Frank Ocean’s performance at the Showbox Market. First off the news about Frank’s revealing his first love to be a male. Secondly, releasing his album a week early. When Frank Ocean first revealed his latest album Channel Orange to a close group of friends, family, and record company representatives,  all electronic devices were not only turned off, but they were confisicated. Tonight I went in with the same approach. Tonight was not only about listening to the music, but taking in the experience of watching a man perform only after revealing some deeply personal things on his tumblr. In his music, Frank sings about the least controversial things, yet his personal life has generated the most publicity outside his companions Earl and Tyler. Of course it is important to stress that one should base the evaluation of the show mostly on the performance, but I cannot help but feel that this context further contributes to the discussion, especially later in this review.

To say that there was an air of excitement in anticipation for the opening kickoff to Frank Ocean’s tour would be an understatement. I showed up thirty minutes before the doors opened at 8pm and the line had already stretched not only one, but two corners. The build up was further compounded by the fact that it took thirty minutes just to get in.  The ticket scalpers were in full force, moving block around block, up and down the line, hawking their requests to for any spare tickets and eventually make a killing off of that. I saw a couple pay a hundred bucks each to get tickets for one reason only: Like all of us waiting in line, they couldn’t wait to see Frank Ocean.

Here’s a general outline of the setlist for the night. I skipped over mentioning a few songs not to mention I probably messed up the order because I either don’t know some of the songs performed and I was too focused on enjoying the show.

  • Thinking About You
  • Novacane
  • Sweet life
  • Forrest Gump
  • Strawberry Swing
  • Made in America (chorus)
  • Super Rich Kids
  • Crack Rock
  • Bad Religion
  • American wedding
  • Voodoo
  • Pyramids
  • White

So let’s hit up the main observations from the show!

There was no opener so as soon as the lights dimmed, everyone started screaming for Frank Ocean as he walked into a warm bask of adoration. The intensity of the crowd’s passion was so extreme that whatever song Frank Ocean was singing in the opening was drowned out by the cheers and screams. I think one element that cannot be understated is that Frank chose to showcase his well-known crooning with acoustic guitars backing him up. That’s a definite sign of his versatility, not to mention his eagerness to expand the musical boundaries of what R&B sound entails.

Although I was most familiar with songs like “Thinking About You” and “Novacane”, I found myself enjoying more songs like “Forest Gump” and “Voodoo”, tracks that had either been released on Channel Orange or in between the mixtape and album. The biggest reason for this was because these tracks were so fresh or relatively unknown, only a few individuals sang along with Frank, allowing for more emphasis on the vocals . The show was thoroughly pleasing in terms of the high quality of it all. Frank has the coolness you would expect of a R&B singer, but the showmanship expected from any person associated with Odd Future (but a showmanship that is more dignified and cerebral).It’s signature Frank Ocean: the anxieties of un-reciprocated love, treated through the perspective of one who either received or inflicted it. However, Channel Orange takes it to a new direction in his music. His previous work nostalgia, ULTRA could sometimes come off as a little distant, but Frank Ocean’s latest changes that around. The diversity of the music foreshadowed at the beginning of the show was out in full force tonight. There was the  dub step-inspired instrumentation in Frank’s lament about a stripper in “Pyramids”,  the wonderful transition from the reverberating guitars of “Strawberry Swing”  into the chorus of “Made It in America”.  The show was exceptional in that it encompassed such a wide variety of genres alternative, R&B, soul, rock, and some real funky moments there.  No matter what though, the crowd was enraptured, roaring with approval at the end of each song. As Frank left the stage, I took some time to scan around the room and I could not even see a single open space. From the bar section to the main floor, people were crammed together like sardines. Multiple slow claps (and in one instance slow stomp) were started to persuade the inevitable return of the night’s triumphant performer.

However, the moment that really stood was the intimate end of the show, right after Frank took the stage one last time for his encore. Before I delve into it, take a moment and check out the link to Frank Ocean’s tumblr. I highlighted some of the text that I want to discuss below.

“4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence … until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love. It would change my life […]

Before writing this I’d told some people my story. I’m sure these people kept me alive, kept me safe. Sincerely, these are the folks I wanna thank from the floor of my heart […] To my first love, I’m grateful for you. Grateful that even thought it wasn’t what I hoped for and even thought it was never enough, it was. Some things never are. And we were. I won’t forget you. I won’t forget the summer. I’ll remember who I was when I met you. I’ll remember who you were and how we’ve both changed and stayed the same. I’ve never had more respect for life and living than I have right now. Maybe it takes a near death experience to feel alive. Thanks. To my mother. You raised me strong. I know I’m only brave because you were first. So thank you. All of you. For everything good. I feel like a free man.”
— Frank

First we will all take note that although Frank wrote about his experience with a male, this episode does not singularly define him as that gay or bisexual singer from tumblr. Despite this key information, the narrative surrounding Frank Ocean will mostly be about that, for better or worse. The multi-dimensionality of Frank’s music stands in stark juxtaposition to the portrayal that people (including myself in certain aspects) have presented what had been some of Frank Ocean’s most private and personal thoughts.

Despite our current insistence to heavily invest in the parts of Frank Ocean’s piece about loving another male, I would like to reference the final line in the passages shared from Frank’s post. He wrote “I feel like a free man”, and that post was his catharsis. Throughout the night, there Frank was, being affable and barely being able to keep a smile under wraps as he took in the cheers from the crowd. This was a man clearly at peace with his past, and hopeful for his future.

I will now return back to my original point of discussion by recalling the image of Frank sitting there at the piano, all alone onstage with one spotlight shining down on him. For about a minute, he simply sat there and played, ignoring the pleas of a few young ladies for him to just sing. In many ways, I can’t help but feel that was symbolic of the recent events and attention in Frank’s life. No matter what he was doing, Frank’s actions were going to be placed under a microscope to be determined for further significance, or in the case of those demanding for him to sing, some would demand Frank to become an activist for the topic he chose to disclose earlier this month. In this final performance, Frank Ocean gently rebuffed all such attempts by continuing to play the piano before softly crooning about how he wished love between the two could just be simple. That line was repeated over and over again, with no information whether the recipient was a male or female. In that regard, it was an illuminating experience for me. Paradoxically, the casual matter in which Frank revealing his love experience is what makes it so noteworthy. It was done on his terms. The normalcy in which Frank presented this information paralleled those last minutes of his time in Seattle. The intimacy of that moment demonstrated how different and similar Frank Ocean is now. Even though that significant moment that Frank told his fan base has altered some of the soundbites in relation to his work, what doesn’t change is that Frank Ocean has the demeanor, the voice, and the production to be the biggest presence in the R&B scene. May this day be remembered not just for what he has accomplished but for what he has yet to finish. Thank God I was able to see it. Seth, my friend, you shouldn’t have sold that ticket to me because you missed out.


The OF Tape Vol. 2 Review

 

 

 

 

 

Odd Future have put out another mixtape. Despite its problems maintaining consistency, there’s some quality hip-hop on here, and the tape does a great job showing that Tyler and Earl are from from the only thing OF has to offer.

Beats are the foundation of a good tape, and the ones on here are inconsistent. “We Got Bitches” falls flat after its promising intro with some overused hi-hat. These guys do best when they’re making gnarly, evil sounds, and The OF Tape Volume 2 is sadly short on these types of beats. “Hcapd” is an exception, with some eerie synths and a heavy horn line, and “Sam (Is Dead)” uses similar elements with equally positive results. And Domo is correct when he says “this beat is fuckin’ perfect” at the beginning of the track “Doms.” Outside of these, though, most of the beats are average at best, and some dip into bad territory.

That said, the primary members’ flows have progressed miles since the last collaborative OF mixtape Radical. Hodgy and Domo in particular are absolutely on fire. They both killed it on their own records last year and they sound like seasoned vets now, with technical skills and wordplay rivaling and sometimes surpassing Earl Sweatshirt’s old material. Hodgy finds his niche as a lunatic spitting shotgun blasts of rage, while Domo continues to perfect the laid-back stoner sound showcased on last year’s Under the Influence. Together, they’re the highlights of the tape.

As for the rest of the crew, results are mixed. Frank Ocean’s voice is silky smooth, easily a highlight of the tape, although his sincere style contrasts poorly with the rest of the group’s brag/shock schtick, and the beats don’t always allow him to shine outside of the good-but-not-great track “White.” The Internet continue to be unimpressive and rather boring. Left Brain’s few appearances are enjoyable enough, but also fail to make much of an impression. Jasper and Taco serve their purpose as comic relief, but they’re capable of bringing down potentially god tracks (I’m looking at “We Got Bitches). Tyler’s up to his old tricks, which is fine, although it’s starting to get tired. He drops shock lines about things like Casey Anthony, even though that ground has already been covered in better fashion by Childish Gambino. While Tyler isn’t completely worn out, he’s going to need to figure out some new tricks if he wants  the upcoming Wolf to avoid being a bore.

The mixtape is enjoyable enough for what it is. For those hoping for a big change from OF, don’t bother, because this is largely more of the same, albeit slightly toned-down. There are hits and there are missteps as is the case with any OF release. Odd Future have shown that they’re not out of gas, but they have left me wondering how much is left in the tank.

6/10