The two-time Grammy award winner, Franck Ocean explained that his decision to back out of the event was because of discrimination issues in the entire award system.
Many people wondered why Frank Ocean didn’t submit his songs for Grammy consideration. Turns out he did it for a thoughtful reason, this was a political act, according to The Grio.
In an interview with The New York Times he explains that he has rejected the awards show system completely. The 29-year-old goes on to say that musicians of color are largely ignored in the Album Of The Year category as the history of the Grammy’s shows.
“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” Frank Ocean stated. “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.”
“I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” he went on. “I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.”
Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, gained notoriety when he refused to stand for the National Anthem.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 16, 2016
“I believe that I’m one of the best in the world at what I do, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be,” he said. “It’s more interesting for me to figure out how to be superior in areas where I’m naïve, where I’m a novice.”
The two-time Grammy winner’s abstaining from music’s biggest award show, he said, is in protest of its failing to properly award black artists. Ocean, 29, noted that since he’d been born, just a few black artists have won album of the year award (there have been six in all).
Elsewhere in the interview, Ocean discusses leaving Def Jam to release Blonde, describing the process of buying himself out his contract using his own money as “a seven-year chess game” — one that dates back to signing with the label and effectively being shelved until he self-released his well-received debut mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra, in 2011.
“It started to weigh on me that I was responsible for the moves that had made me successful, but I wasn’t reaping the lion’s share of the profits, and that was problematic for me,” he said. “With [Blonde] in particular, I wanted to feel like I won before the record came out, and I did, and so it took a lot pressure off of me about how the record even would perform after the fact. Once the goal is met, everything else is lagniappe. It’s not essential for me to have a big debut week, it’s not essential for me to have big radio records.”
— Complex (@Complex) November 16, 2016
As for the album’s success, opening third-biggest opening week of the year (behind Drake and Beyonce), understandably it feels good.
“Well, we doubled [2012’s] Channel Orange first week,” he said. “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.”
We need to stand bold for the things we believe in. This is indeed an intrepid step to show the world that we won’t accept racism or discrimination of any form. If we don’t belong there, we aren’t going there! Frank Ocean is no doubt one of the most talented musicians of our time and his action really sends a strong message; ‘zero tolerance for discrimination.’