• Mari

Keep A Place For Me

Five years ago, we were gifted with the ultimate "Fuck you," an artist could give to their label. After much acclaim from his debut album 'Channel Orange', the hype for Frank Ocean's follow up album was real- an anxious four-year wait to see what was coming next, kind of real. Then one night, with zero promotion, Apple Music began live-streaming a staircase with Ocean himself coming into view. Thus born was 'Endless', a 45-minute visual album compiled of 18 songs and ultimately satisfying Ocean's deal with former record label Def Jam. Free from any commitments to a label, and a mere 24 hours later, Ocean independently released 'Blonde' as an iTunes and Apple Music exclusive. A calculated power move that gave Ocean complete ownership of his work, rather than the pockets of a record label.

For Frank, lightning had struck twice. This album is one of the few you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when it dropped. The honesty, tenderness and poetry Ocean portrays throughout the journey from Nikes to Futura Free are raw takes about the many facets of life we find ourselves facing. 'Blonde' is an album that explores heartbreak, mental health and self realization in a way that millions could deeply relate to, a feat only few creatives can truly achieve.

There is a magic in this album that connects its listeners in a way that is completely indescribable, but here we are trying to put its impact into context. Five years later, we still listen and hang onto his words eagerly as we did the first time. We've built memories and dedicated moments of our lives to the songs that came to life on this album. They've been there at our lowest lows while simultaneously meeting us at the highest highs. For that, we are forever grateful. Happy birthday to 'Blonde', a classic destined to stand the test of time.

Thank you, Frank.

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