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Frank Ocean’s Critically Acclaimed Debut ‘Channel Orange’ Celebrates 10 Years



The classic album propelled the Odd Future alum’s career to heights that even the tornado in his room couldn’t make a mess of.

Yesterday (Jul. 10), Frank Ocean celebrated the 10-year anniversary of his debut album, ‘Channel Orange’. The project was released to rave reviews as the artist – born Christopher Edwin Breaux – displayed a level of openness matched with music that transcended the traditional standards of R&B at the time. Pairing elements of pop, rap & electronic music with a lyrical prowess that painted a full picture for listeners. There’s no debating that this project knocked down doors for artists by helping to continue pushing the envelope. Each song screening a different film of: unrequited love, class disparity, sex, drug dependency & longing, to name a few. In an album that is so open yet so guarded, Breaux tells us just enough to keep us fully engaged without revealing too much of himself or the people involved in the situations. 

First bursting onto the scene as a member of the Los Angeles-based collective known as Odd Future, founded by the controversial yet undeniably talented, Tyler, The Creator. The group also featured artists like Earl Sweatshirt & Syd, who would go onto forge solo careers of their own. Frank almost instantly established himself as a budding star with the release of his ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’ mixtape just a year before his debut album. The project helped the Long Beach native further perfect his sound that is on full display on ‘Channel Orange’ as he proves that he has hit-making ability while also spreading a message and doing it his way. 

On “Pyramids”, Ocean speaks on the exploitation and disrespect that black women face. Once revered as Queens, the artist uses the initial half of the song speaking of the betrayal of Cleopatra as a metaphoric ploy to express the lack of acclaim and respect that black women receive.

“They have taken Cleopatra / Run, run, run, come back for my glory (Cleopatra) / Bring her back to me (Cleopatra) / The throne of our queen is empty (Cleopatra)”

Feeling a need to speak out on the fall from grace that has been egged on by a society that wasn’t built for them to succeed, Ocean continues to push the conversation forward. Eventually we wind up in present times where he again touches on the exploitation of our queens. This time using a prostitute metaphor as a way of saying that industries have seemingly pimped us out of our own culture. Taking our art whether it be music, film, fashion or what have you and entrapping us in deals that may look lucrative but only serve themselves or just outright taking ownership of the ideas.

“The jewel of Africa, jewel / What good is a jewel that ain’t still precious? / How could you run off on me? How could you run off on us?”

The song is a 10-minute long trolling of the music industry where he demands that respect be given where it’s due while also not shortchanging artists for their work.

Other songs like the mega-hit “Thinkin About You” helped to further cement his solo debut. The album also featured singles from Earl Sweatshirt, John Mayer and the legendary MC, André 3000.

‘Channel Orange’ peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was followed up with appearances on Jay Z & Kanye West’s joint album ‘Watch The Throne’ as well as Tyler, the Creator’s ‘Goblin’ project.

Soon after the release of his debut, Ocean became displeased with his label (and the music industry as a whole), Def Jam. This led to his departure in 2016 after he fulfilled his contract by releasing ‘Endless’ as a streaming-only video album on Apple Music on the label. He continued to troll the music industry by releasing his acclaimed ‘Blonde’ album a day later under his Boys Don’t Cry imprint, seemingly using the first album as a trojan horse to unveil the second one.

As we wait for the enigmatic artist to release more music, he decided to celebrate by sharing two new episodes of his Blonded radio show on Apple Music. One of which sees him conduct an interview with Dr. James Fadiman about psychedelics – it also features a 30-minute original score produced by Ocean. The second one titled: “blonded ENERGY!” sees him conducting an interview about self-realization and the ancient art of Qi Gong with Master Mingtong.


  1. Start
  2. Thinkin Bout You
  3. Fertilizer
  4. Sierra Leone
  5. Sweet Life
  6. Not Just Money
  7. Super Rich Kids ft. Earl Sweatshirt
  8. Pilot Jones
  9. Crack Rock
  10. Pyramids
  11. Lost
  12. White ft. John Mayer
  13. Monks
  14. Bad Religion
  15. Pink Matter ft. André 3000
  16. Forrest Gump
  17. End

Stream Frank Ocean’s debut album ‘Channel Orange‘ on all streaming platforms now!