Frank Ocean Says Skipping Grammys Will Be His Colin Kaepernick Moment
The New York Times scored a super rare Frank Ocean interview, the singer speaking with Jon Caramanica about his professional absence, the process of creating Endless and Blonde and why he's decided not only to skip this year's Grammy Awards but to withhold his work from even being nominated. Ocean was previously nominated for six Grammys in 2013, performing "Forrest Gump" off Channel Orange at that year's ceremony.
"I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” Ocean says in the piece. “I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.” Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, made headlines this year by sitting and then kneeling during the National Anthem as a form of protest against racial inequality.
“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” he said of the Grammy's. “It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.” He as well notes that in his lifetime, only a few black artists have won Album of the Year, including Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Ray Charles. Ocean lost the top prize to Mumford & Sons in 2013, losing Best New Artist and Record of the Year as well.
Frank also speaks on leaving Def Jam, saying it was a "seven-year chess game" that ended with him buying out his contract with his own money. Now that he's indie, however, he's a lot happier with the points he's getting off every album sale: "I’m making, like, No Limit-type of equity, Master P-type of equity on my record," he says.
To read the piece in full, visit The New York Times.
20 of Your Favorite Rappers Naming Their Favorite Rappers