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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
Grade: ****, 4/5 asterisks
By MAX ASAYESH-BROWN, St. Petersburg High
I don’t have a huge problem with the whole bandwagon situation. Who cares when you heard of it as long as you’ve heard of it? Frank Ocean’s double knockout at the Grammys on Sunday brought him a wave of new followers. So in honor of them, and because tb-two* doesn’t publish during the summer, somewhat cheating the Odd Future heir of pop’s July album, Channel Orange, I’m going back in time for this review. Sort of like I brought extra attention to Imagine Dragons’ somewhat dated album a few weeks back, here’s my two cents on the most interesting cocktail of rap and pop 2012 had to offer:
Ocean may not have invented the genre, but there’s no doubt he was there when it happened.
The bulk of Channel Orange is a thousand times mellower than you would ever expect from an artist with the chops to perform alongside Odd Future gang-bangers like Tyler, the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt.
Speaking of Earl Sweatshirt, be sure to say hello to his collaboration with Ocean on this very album, the Internet-famous Super Rich Kids. The track exhibits Ocean’s silky voice and admirable vocal range, as well as variety in his subjects: One of the first prominent African-Americans in the genre to declare same-sex attraction (and rap to that effect) gave us “Super rich kids with nothing but loose ends / Super rich kids with nothing but fake friends.”
Also notable is the penultimate track Forrest Gump, which Ocean brought with him on stage at the Grammys, as one of their most anticipated acts. This song, like many, pairs a slow, modest beat with long notes I’m convinced Ocean could hold with his eyes closed. Keep an ear out for this excellent voice of his, but also an intriguing whistling solo. And he makes it look so easy.
Ocean may have just gained momentum in his career: Two Grammys and a cover story of New York Times Magazine can’t be wrong. But his pure originality gifts him with the staying power necessary to maintain an exciting career henceforth.