Jeff Himmelman has a 6,000+ word profile on Frank Ocean in this week’s New York Times Magazine. You can read the full piece here, or just check out the highlights below.
On the importance of image:
“I have no delusions about my likability, in every scenario. I know that in order to get things done the way you want them, oftentimes your position will be unpopular…That’s why image is so important. That’s why you’ve got to practice brevity when you do interviews like this. I could try to make myself likable to you so you could write a piece that keeps my image in good standing, because I’m still selling this, or I could just say, ‘My art speaks for itself.’”
On drugs as the dominant motif of Channel Orange:
“We’re talking about substances, but we forget how intoxicating things that aren’t tangible, things that aren’t chemical substances, are. You forget about it. I’m saying, you know, love. Power. Money, which is power. Freedom. Honesty. Because that explicit truth I was talking about” — a reference to his open letter on Tumblr — “probably had the same effect [on me] as heroin does on some people.”
On the purpose of art:
“Art’s everything we hope life would be, a lot of times. That’s what I get from it. And that’s what I’ve tried to do. In the storytelling and the sonics and everything. That’s what I’ve tried to do, because I just think that’s the purpose of art. Push, you know?”