Frank Ocean Slams Out-of-Touch Grammy Producers: "Use the Old Gramophone to Actually Listen, Bro"
Published Feb 12, 2017Despite staging a wildly successful return to music in 2016 with the release of Endless and Blonde, Frank Ocean won't be attending the Grammys tonight (February 12) — which is hardly surprising given his decision to remove his latest offerings from award contention.
Earlier this week, Grammy producers Ken Ehrlich and David Wild told Rolling Stone that Ocean's decision to step back from the ceremony probably stemmed from his 2013 performance. Wild claims that after Ocean approached producers with his "rigid" idea for a performance, he and Ehrlich warned the singer: "That's not great TV." Nevertheless, Wild admits, "We executed his vision knowing that it was faulty."
Now, Ocean has hit back at the show's producers in a Tumblr post, rehashing his opinions on the out-of-touch process surrounding the broadcast and awards.
While he acknowledges that his 2013 performance was "absolute shit" — adding "Thanks for the reminder. Very much appreciated." — Ocean says he was open to the idea of participating to honour Prince, but ultimately felt that he could better honour the late singer by continuing "to be myself out here and to be successful."
He also skewers the Grammys for giving 2016's Album of the Year trophy to Taylor Swift's 1989 over Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, calling the decision "hands down one of the most 'faulty' TV moments I've seen."
Ocean closes by telling Wild and Ehrlich to "believe the people" (who are most likely just watching the show's highlight reel the morning after) and to "use the old gramophone to actually listen bro." He declares himself "one of the best alive" and invites the producers to join him in a conversation about the "cultural bias and general nerve damage the show you produce suffers from," before ending with: "Have a good night" — and an Internet audience that probably can't help but picture him dropping a mic.
Read the Tumblr takedown in its scathing entirety here.
Back in the fall, Ocean told the New York Times that boycotting the Grammys would be his "Colin Kaepernick moment."
"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," he said at the time. "I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated."
Relive the aforementioned 2013 performance below. This year's Grammys will be handed out in a ceremony that begins at 8 p.m. EST.