Chris Brown, Sexuality and Chipotle: The Rise of Frank Ocean

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Frank Ocean’s career has certainly been on the rise in the past few years since releasing his debut album ‘Channel Orange’ in 2012, to much critical acclaim and recognition. Since then he’s been attempting to break down barriers of homophobia in hip hop as well as having spats with Chris Brown and more recently Chipotle. So what have the past few years been like for the rising hip hop star?

Frank OceanGrammy award winner, Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean was born Christopher Breaux and grew up in New Orleans Louisiana, he started his recording career early before being derailed in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the city and destroyed his studio. In order to continue with his musical ambitions, Frank moved to Los Angeles and began to forge a career in the hip hop scene. Originally he was signed as a songwriter, working with artists such as Beyonce and Justin Bieber. Then in 2009 he joined Tyler the Creator’s hip hop collective Odd Future and was eventually signed as a solo artist to Def Jam recordings.

Ocean’s debut mixtape ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’ brought him early critical acclaim, despite sampling controversies. The mixtape was originally penned to be released as an EP, but the idea became shelved indefinitely two singles, however, 'Novacane' and 'Swim Good' would be released from the intended EP. The next move for Ocean was to begin work on his debut studio album. Before the album was released, however Ocean had something he had to get off his chest, by way of a tumblr post in July 2012. The rapper posted an open letter on his blog which recounted feelings he had towards another man when he was 19. The admission would spark a debate about homophobia in hip hop and led to many artists showing their support for Ocean The aftermath of letter, however, is still being felt in the hip hop world, with rapper T-Pain recently saying that some artists are still refusing to work with Ocean due to his sexuality.

His personal life aside, Ocean released the album ‘Channel Orange’ in July 2012 and began collecting  accolades for it. The record topped numerous year end polls, including  Billboard magazine's as well as the New York Times. He also received the Grammy Award for Best Urban Contemporary Album as well as picking up three other nominations. In December of 2012 Ocean had a run in with the law when he was pulled over in California for speeding. After a subsequent search of his car officers are said to have found a few grams of marijuana. He was then cited for possession as well as driving on a suspended license and having tinted windows.

Frank OceanFrank Ocean has enjoyed sucess with his debut album 'Channel Orange'

A month later he would make headlines again, this time after an altercation with Chris Brown. The pair are said to have had a disagreement in a Los Angeles parking lot and Brown was alleged to have struck Ocean. No charges were pressed by Ocean, who later said, ‘'I'll choose sanity. No criminal charges. No civil lawsuit. Forgiveness, albeit difficult, is wisdom. peace, albeit trite, is what I want in my short life. Peace.’ However his cousin Sha'Keir Duarte, has since sued Brown for $3 million.

Next page: Frank Ocean's spat with Chipotle

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