Last year Frank Ocean had a better year than any of us. In the short span of under 12 months he went from being an unknown member of an obscure skater collective called Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All to being named one of GQ’s Men of the Year. Ocean wrote a track for Beyonce, released his own addictive, multi-genre sampling mixtape Nostalgia Ultra and sang on two tracks from Jay Z and Kanye West’s hip-hop opus Watch the Throne. In a Tumblr post to his five-years-ago self Ocean wrote:
Hey chris, your name is frank now..it’s a long story. your girlfriend is about to break up with you because of the long distance. it’s ok. & that job you’re working..well, you’re gonna have to work there for another year and some months.. & then you’re gonna get fired. you’re gonna work a couple more jobs after that too. nothing glamorous. kinkos and at&t if you really want the specifics. but you’re never gonna be homeless or starving. don’t worry you won’t fail and have to move back to new orleans either. you are gonna get your heartbroken though. twice. if it helps, the first one is gonna be worse than the second. contrary to how it feels, it won’t kill you. in fact it’s gonna help you write an album. yea, you finally finished an album. people like it man. you’re actually gonna write and record hundreds of songs. they won’t all be good and most ppl won’t think you’re talented at first, but you’re going to master your gifts. you’re going to become a lot stronger and wiser..even a little taller. be patient. i mean, you kind of have no choice. and be good to people. i don’t wanna spoil too much for you, but.. you’re on a plane right now to the east coast to work with kanye west & jay-z. it’s all working out kid. you made it.
This year is shaping up to be a not half-bad follow-up for Ocean who is scheduled to release his debut album in Spring 2012 and just finished working with Kanye on music for Odd Future’s second mixtape. He’s also playing Coachella and it was just announced that he’ll open on 2012 Coldplay tour dates in Europe. Coldplay were apparently more flattered by Ocean’s sample of their track Strawberry Swing than Don Henley and The Eagles’ record company which filed suit against Ocean for using Hotel California.