Everything we learnt about Frank Ocean from his newly public Instagram
Frank Ocean is an enigma. The man rarely speaks, and on the occasion he does, everyone straightens their back to listen. On the heels of three "blonded Radio" election-themed sessions for his long-running Beats 1 show two weeks ago, he has finally opened the pearly gates of his previously-private Instagram profile, @blonded, allowing his fans into the heavenly world that is his fascinating mind, high-rollin' life and eclectic inspirations. The profile has racked up more than a few hundred followers in less than 48 hours, proving that even if he hasn't released a full-length album since 2016's massive hit Blonde, he still has a strong hold over all of us. A topless, thirsty mirror selfie at home with the single-word caption "welcome" was all the persuasion we needed to deep dive into every one of his 307 posts right to the very last one, a photo with actor Ansel Elgort at the Met Gala, dated 9 May 2017. From his taste in art to his self-care regime, here are a bunch of interesting things we discovered about the dude.
Politics: He gave away free merch to encourage his fans to vote in four key states.
In a poster first published on his prolific Tumblr, Ocean stated that "the locations were chosen in states to support specific candidates: Stacey Abraham in Georgia, who if elected, would be America's first black female governor, Andrew Gillum in Floria who would be the state's first black governor and Beto O'Rourke who would be the first Democratic senator in Texas in 24 years." To claim the free merch, voters had to bring a ballot stub to prove that they voted in any of the locations. In this IG post, we finally see that the free merch in question was a white long-sleeved T-shirt with a similar graphic as the poster. Because sometimes the disengaged 42% non-voting American youth need some free shit to crawl out of their basements and vote in their self-interest.
Grooming: He loves to pamper himself.
It's no secret that Ocean loves to experiment with his hair colour. His skin fade has gone from regular hues like blonde and red to a more extreme neon yellow and slime-green. Through his IG feed, we get to see Ocean extending his self-care and grooming regime. He sits in hair rollers to get baby curls and indulges in leg massages in what looks like a typical Chinatown establishment because nothing feels as good as getting your gnarly bunions stroked by a petite Asian woman.
Fashion: He doesn't shy away from high-fashion drama.
We know that he follows all the action on the runway intently because his feed is littered with runway shots including images from a recent Prada show and an out-there deerskin look from up-and-coming New York label Luar. He's obviously not afraid of a little campy glamour too, posing in a rhinestone-crusted pineapple sunglasses as well as a voluminous tulle skirt. He might be known for his politically charged T-shirts, but now we know that this man has a knack for some knee-length glittery shorts from Comme des Garçons Homme Plus too.
Books: He an avid reader of gay literature.
This pile of books on the floor features titles such as 'The Gay Flesh' by Joe Leon Houston', a trashy novel about a sexually charged party-hard as well as 'Faggots' by Larry Kramer that recounts the devastating impacts of the AIDS epidemic on the gay community in New York City.
Art: He is a huge fan of contemporary art including British artist David Hockney.
Ocean's most-obsessed Hockney painting above, 'Portrait of an Artist (Pool With Two Figures)', fetched a cool $90.3 million dollars at a Christie's auction in New York recently. Other artists and artworks featured on his feed include Icelandic-Danish Olafur Eliasson's immersive orangey light work 'Weather Project' at Tate Modern, photographer Walter Pfeiffer's youth culture snapshots and artist Robert Longo's epic charcoal triptych 'Untitled (Raft at Sea)'.
Concert: He custom-makes his stereo systems for his performances.
Obviously, everyone was hoping that his IG would provide some BTS looks at the production of his much-hyped album and concerts. Sadly we couldn't find more than a couple of posts on the process including the one above which shows his boombox for the 'Blonded' tour in 2017. An earlier post revealed a hand-sketched illustration of the boombox, which in case you're interested, is about 1.78m tall and 1.18m wide.