When Frank Ocean released his highly anticipated album “Blonde” in August, it quickly became of the most popular projects of the year and received critical acclaim.
With as well as it sold and the amount of praise it received, it was a shock to fans when it was revealed that “Blonde” would not be nominated for a Grammy. It was eventually revealed that the album was not submitted to the 2017 Grammys in time for a nomination but now, Ocean has revealed why he chose not to submit the album.
During an interview with the New York Times, the singer explained his reasoning, calling it his “Colin Kaepernick moment.” According to Ocean, the Grammys are not doing a good job of representing his people.
“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” said Ocean. “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.”
At the beginning of the 2016 NFL season, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, began kneeling during the national anthem as a way to protest the oppression of black people and other non-white races.
A two-time Grammy winner, the 29-year-old singer has only seen seven black artists win the coveted Album of the Year award since he was born, and he sees the nomination system as antiquated.
“I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” he said. “I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.”
While the album sold well — selling 276,000 copies in its first week — Ocean believes he could have done better. “Well, we doubled [2012’s] ‘Channel Orange’ first week. I’m always gonna be like, ‘We could have done a little bit better.’ I guess there’s a satisfaction that comes with looking at numbers like that, and I’m making, like, No Limit-type of equity, Master P-type of equity on my record.”
Interviews with Ocean are few and far between. In his very brief talk with C-SPAN in October during the White House State Dinner, Ocean was asked about his outfit, which included checked Vans shoes. “You can’t think, you just have to do things,” he said.