It made headlines months ago when Frank Ocean revealed that he would not be submitting his critically acclaimed sophomore album, Blonde, to the Grammy committee for consideration for its annual awards ceremony. Now, with the Grammys just around the corner, producers from the show have recently opened up about why they think the superstar singer didn’t want to participate in the ceremony. But apparently Ocean isn’t happy with their commentary about him because this weekend he blasted the Grammys in a scathing Tumblr post.
The drama between the Grammys producers and Ocean all began yesterday when Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich and Grammys writer David Wild gave an interview about Ocean and claimed that they believe he declined to participate in this year’s awards show because he had an underwhelming performance at the 2013 awards show when he sang his Channel Orange song “Forrest Gump.”
According to Wild, Ocean had a “a very definite idea” about performing the song behind a screen with running legs. Wild says that Ehrlich responded to the idea by saying, “that’s not great TV.”
“What [Ehrlich]’s taught all of us who work with him is, ‘We’re not putting on a radio show. We’re not making a mixtape. We’re broadcasting on CBS to tens of millions of people, to the whole world, and you have to make it a TV moment and a musical moment that works on television.’ And [Ehrlich] knew from the start that that was not one of those moments,” Wild said.
Ehrlich added about the performance, “We executed his vision knowing that it was faulty. And we tried to tell him that, we tried to tell his management that, we tried to tell the record label that. So, his feelings about the Grammys right now, I would imagine, probably go back to that in one way. But honestly, it wasn’t us.”
Well, once Ocean got wind of the interview, he made the rare decision to speak publicly about his music and decided to blast Wild, Ehrlich and the Grammys in a scathing Tumblr response.
“OK KEN (AND DAVID). AS MUCH AS I HATE TO MAKE YOU GUYS FAMOUS OR EVEN RESPOND TO YOU DIRECTLY. WE ALL DIE ONE DAY AND YOU’RE OLD SO F— IT. YEA YEA MY 2013 PERFORMANCE AT THE GRAMMYS WAS ABSOLUTE S—. TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, BLAH BLAH. THANKS FOR THE REMINDER. VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. F— THAT PERFORMANCE THOUGH. YOU THINK THAT’S WHY I KEPT MY WORK OUT OF THE GRAMMY PROCESS THIS YEAR? DON’T YOU THINK I WOULD’VE WANTED TO PLAY THE SHOW TO ‘REDEEM’ MYSELF IF I FELT THAT WAY?” Ocean wrote.
The singer then explained that he wanted to participate in the reported Prince tribute that will take place at the show. However, he says he decided being a successful and openly bisexual Black singer is the best way he can pay tribute to one of his musical heroes.
“IN REALITY, I ACTUALLY WANTED TO PARTICIPATE IN HONORING PRINCE ON THE SHOW BUT THEN I FIGURED MY BEST TRIBUTE TO THAT MAN’S LEGACY WOULD BE TO CONTINUE TO BE MYSELF OUT HERE AND TO BE SUCCESSFUL. WINNING A TV AWARD DOESN’T CHRISTEN ME SUCCESSFUL. IT TOOK ME SOME TIME TO LEARN THAT,” Ocean wrote.
He continued, “I BOUGHT ALL MY MASTERS BACK LAST YEAR IN THE PRIME OF MY CAREER, THAT’S SUCCESSFUL. BLONDE SOLD A MILLION PLUS WITHOUT A LABEL, THAT’S SUCCESSFUL. I AM YOUNG, BLACK, GIFTED AND INDEPENDENT … THAT’S MY TRIBUTE.”
Ocean then shifted gears and went on to blast the Grammys for the notorious way in which the committee tends to shaft Black artists and fan favorites with their awards by instead giving them out to less deserving and “safe” pop artists. And Ocean didn’t hold back as he pointed directly at the 2015 Grammys and explains how upsetting it was for Taylor Swift’s glossy pop album 1989 to beat out Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed pro-Black opus To Pimp a Butterfly for Album of the Year.
“I’VE ACTUALLY BEEN TUNING INTO CBS AROUND THIS TIME OF YEAR FOR A WHILE TO SEE WHO GETS THE TOP HONOR AND YOU KNOW WHAT’S REALLY NOT ‘GREAT TV’ GUYS? 1989 GETTING ALBUM OF THE YEAR OVER TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY. HANDS DOWN ONE OF THE MOST ‘FAULTY’ TV MOMENTS I’VE SEEN. BELIEVE THE PEOPLE. BELIEVE THE ONES WHO’D RATHER WATCH SELECT PERFORMANCES FROM YOUR PROGRAM ON YOUTUBE THE DAY AFTER BECAUSE YOUR SHOW PUTS THEM TO SLEEP. USE THE OLD GRAMOPHONE TO ACTUALLY LISTEN BRO, I’M ONE OF THE BEST ALIVE. AND IF YOU’RE UP FOR A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE CULTURAL BIAS AND GENERAL NERVE DAMAGE THE SHOW YOU PRODUCE SUFFERS FROM THEN I’M ALL FOR IT. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.
Well, what do you think of Ocean’s Grammys shade? Let us know in the comments.