"Frank Ocean Is Finally Free" the New York Times declared mid-November, three months after the release of his sophomore album, Blonde, which had been met with critical acclaim and a seemingly endless, reverberating stream of emoji crying tears of joy.
Why was Frank Ocean free? Because there was not a chance in hell that Frank Ocean was going to win a Grammy. In fact, he wouldn't even have to dress up and pretend he wanted one. That's because Frank Ocean decided he wouldn't submit his album to be judged within a system that he doesn't respect.
"This has always been my life and no one else's, and that's how it's always been since the day I came in it." —Frank Ocean
It's "Luv Week" over at Sweet (maybe you noticed the extra hearts here and there?), and it feels like Ocean's decision to not seek validation from a system not worthy of judging his work is also a pretty poignant metaphor for matters of the heart.
If we approached love the way Frank Ocean approaches his work, we'd be better off. If we were confident in the greatness of ourselves, as he is in his work, and didn't need to seek outside validation—especially from those not fit to judge—we, too, would be more free. And freedom, Ocean proved last fall, makes the music so much sweeter, doesn't it?