Since his last album, Blonde, Frank Ocean has released some singles here and there but never anything to satisfy the public’s need for new music. Most artists would have faded from the limelight in six years, but in 2022, Ocean is still one of the most important artists to grace my playlists.
People love Ocean so much that at a music festival, they booed Drake off stage just for a chance that maybe Ocean would be there. He was never confirmed to be there, but the people put that sliver of hope above one of the biggest artists of our generation. Because no matter how big Drake is, he will never be what Ocean is.
Ocean is not just an artist; to me, he is an escape. We use escapes when there are problems, and as the years fly by and each passing day carries the weight of the last, Blonde keeps getting better, more comforting, and more understandable. Paragraphs of words left unsaid, problems left unsolved. These things I will never tell another soul, but it exists in high definition between me and Ocean.
The world has a consensus that since 2016, our lives have slowly unraveled and has grown marginally worse every year. I think many have developed a nostalgia for the artists whose works are permanently tied to the years that they see as the peak of their lives. For the good times, artists like Lil Uzi Vert were there, and for the bad, Ocean was always the comforting embrace that keeps our days going.
Artists and people move on from a specific piece of music, but the world has been anchored to Blonde for six years now. With the worst of the pandemic now in the rearview mirror and things seemingly getting better, I cannot help but anticipate the next piece of musical therapy by Ocean.