From the very beginning, I really loved Frank Ocean. I remember first starting to hear about him during Summer 2011, when he must have had both “Novocane” (which he spelled incorrectly) and “Thinking About You” out already. I remember he had a lot of mixtapes out – including one called “Lonny Breaux”, which is his ACTUAL NAME! Well, his name is Christopher Breaux, and his nickname was Lonny. That’s right, you always knew that “Frank Ocean” is far too cool of a name to be authentic. Really good fake name choice, though, Lonny.
So “Lonny Breaux” had, no joke, like 70 tracks. I listened to it for months, always on shuffle, so it’s completely possible there are songs I never heard. There were plenty of songs I didn’t get into in the first 15 seconds and skipped. But still… there were at least 5 or 6 tracks where Lonny was just INCREDIBLE. Some people loved “Acura Integurl”, though I never did. Here’s what I really liked:
If I’m in Love
Richest Man in the Room
Stay If You Go
So then Frank Ocean came out with “Nostalgia, Ultra,” and he started blowing up (“Thinking About You”, “Novocane”, and “Swim Good” were all on this). He was already getting really famous, and he released Channel Orange at the peak of his fame, and that just carried him up to the point where he was named one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People In the World. I actually think a lot of his old stuff is better than Channel Orange, but Channel Orange is really… new. It’s really different, kind of an entirely different style of music than anything I’ve ever heard done. Like, when you listen to Justin Timberlake, he’s REALLY good, but he’s really not breaking any new ground. I mean, people love the stuff he does now, that sounds like the stuff he did back in ‘N Sync, which is from like 15 years ago. Frank Ocean is brand new.
So with that said, I’m going to skip EVERYTHING he did that’s more well-known and just take you to a track that is not even on any mixtapes. Frank/Lonny/Fronny released this on a youtube video that’s no longer up. In the video, he’s sitting with a keyboard and just trying out the song – at one point he has to start over because he doesn’t remember the words. Well, Ana decided to remix it, off a grainy, low-quality youtube video, and did a great job. Take a listen, and you can download it through SoundCloud.