The Most Important Word in Tyler, the Creator’s Vocabulary Is Exactly What You Think It Is

Rich Juzwiak · 04/02/13 04:50PM

It's hard to imagine a purportedly heterosexual artist who has a more intimate relationship with the word "faggot" than the rapper Tyler, the Creator. His frequent use of word has defined his career to many (especially those who haven't taken the time to listen to his music or are generally hip-hop avoidant), its legend reaching exaggerated proportions – an oft-quoted, erroneous post on NME says he uttered the word and variations of it like "fag" 213 times on his 2011 sophomore album Goblin. Fader, in a more measured post of various Goblin stats, counted only nine.

Frank Ocean Isn't as Perfect as Everyone Thinks He Is

Rich Juzwiak · 02/07/13 01:20PM

Sensitive, out (whatever that means) soul singer Frank Ocean is up for six Grammys, recently saw his beloved debut album channel ORANGE go gold and was the de facto good guy in a recent scuffle with pop culture's Big Bad Wolf, Chris Brown. Right now, Frank Ocean is America's sweetheart. The primary function, then of Jeff Himmelman's 6,000+ word profile on the singer/songwriter for the upcoming issue of the New York Times Magazine, is taking Ocean's image down a peg or two. "Frank Ocean Can Fly" does so immediately by leading with Ocean's snobbery when faced with Himmelman's economy rental car: "Frank Ocean did not want to ride in my rented Ford Fusion; that much was clear," goes the piece's first sentence. Instead, he had Himmelman drive one of his BMWs — Ocean couldn't on account of his New Year's Eve pot bust.

Today's Song: Alunageorge "Thinkin Bout You" (Frank Ocean Cover)

Rich Juzwiak · 01/07/13 03:45PM

Another day, another reason to fall in love with the most exciting duo in R&B, the UK's Alunageorge. Today they played the BBC 1Xtra Live Lounge, where they unveiled the new track "Body Music" and this gem: an upbeat cover of Frank Ocean's glorious "Thinkin Bout You." I had been thinking that Aluna Francis' voice had been manipulated on the group's recordings, but nope, it turns out that she actually just sounds sped up by 15 percent naturally. Unreal.

Aside From Dating Lots of Boys, What Did Taylor Swift Do in 2012?: The Year in Pop

Rich Juzwiak · 12/27/12 06:35PM

It's strange that in a year when the two biggest pop music stories dealt with the renaissances that R&B and dance music are undergoing, we lost icons from those respective genres: Whitney Houston and Donna Summer. Long gone is the time when what those divas brought to their respective genres was fresh and, for that matter, commercially relevant—but the passing of the baton, the out with the old and in with the new, rarely feels so pronounced and tangible.

The Air Up There: Brandy Joins R&B's Moody Dudes with Her Spectacular Two Eleven

Rich Juzwiak · 10/17/12 11:05AM

The most exciting recent musical development in R&B has less to do with its beat than what's floating above it. The synth-led humidity the genre has absorbed via the likes of Frank Ocean, Drake (and his producer, Noah "40" Shebib), the Weeknd, and Miguel is shaping the commercial genre before our ears in a way that hasn't happened since Timbaland revolutionized it by making it skitter during the last half of the ‘90s. Mood music actually sounds moody again.

Here's Frank Ocean's Gorgeous First TV Performance

Rich Juzwiak · 07/10/12 01:15AM

Frank Ocean performed his song "Bad Religion" on tonight's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and absolutely destroyed it. Accompanied by a string section, he sang the tale of unrequited love with a man ("I could never make him love me"), which seems to be modeled after the same relationship that he wrote about in his CD's liner notes. When that narrative was posted on Tumblr last week, it amounted to Frank's coming out. This is a stellar performance, particularly when he flips none too gracefully into his falsetto. It's not as fully formed as, say, Usher's, but there's also no vanity there, either — it's pure expression. This song is deeply felt and this performance only makes it deeper.

Today's Song: Frank Ocean 'Sweet Life'

Rich Juzwiak · 07/06/12 03:20PM

I can think of no better end to a week full of words from and about Frank Ocean than with some music. Speaking for its sun-kissed self, "Sweet Life" is off Ocean's official debut Channel Orange, which is out a week from Tuesday. The New York Times' Jon Caramanica says the album is "beautiful," and from what I've heard of it so far, I'm inclined to agree. I would be even without all the gay stuff.