Photo of Frank Ocean, courtesy Wolfgang Tillmans
A day before the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, Frank Ocean is in a feisty war of words with the forces behind the trophy show.
Responding on Saturday night to producer Ken Ehrlich and writer David Wild's new criticism that Ocean's 2013 Grammys performance was "not great TV," the singer shared his own thoughts about why the awards show is losing relevance and made clear he will definitely not be at Sunday's ceremony in Los Angeles.
In a newly published Tumblr update, Ocean said "winning a TV award doesn’t christen me successful," adding that Taylor Swift's 1989 getting album of the year over Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly was "hands down one of the most 'faulty’ TV moments I’ve seen," a reference to Ehrlich's own words.
Ocean continued, taking aim at the Grammys' ratings dip in recent years, declaring Ehrlich and the Recording Academy should "believe the ones who’d rather watch select performances from your program on YouTube the day after because your show puts them to sleep," he said. "Use the old gramophone to actually listen bro, I’m one of the best alive. And if you’re up for a discussion about the cultural bias and general nerve damage the show you produce suffers from then I’m all for it."
Tension between Ocean and the Recording Academy first surfaced last fall when it was revealed the Grammy winner hadn't submitted his new album Blonde nor his visual project Endless for consideration for this year's contest.
Read Ocean's full note below:
"OK Ken (and David). As much as I hate to make you guys famous or even respond to you directly. We all die one day and you’re old so fuck it. Yea yea my 2013 performance at the Grammys was absolute shit. Technical difficulties, blah blah. Thanks for the reminder. Very much appreciated. Fuck that performance though. You think that’s why I kept my work out of the Grammy process this year? Don’t you think I would’ve wanted to play the show to ‘redeem’ myself if I felt that way? In reality, I actually wanted to participate in honoring Prince on the show but then I figured my best tribute to that man’s legacy would be to continue to be myself out here and to be successful. Winning a TV award doesn’t christen me successful. It took me some time to learn that. I bought all my masters back last year in the prime of my career, that’s successful. Blonde sold a million-plus without a label, that’s successful. I am young, black, gifted and independent.. That’s my tribute. I’ve actually been tuning into CBS around this time of year for a while to see who gets the top honor and you know what’s really not 'great TV’ guys? 1989 getting Album of the Year over To Pimp a Butterfly. Hands down one of the most 'faulty’ TV moments I've seen. Believe the people. Believe the ones who’d rather watch select performances from your program on YouTube the day after because your show puts them to sleep. Use the old gramophone to actually listen bro, I’m one of the best alive. And if you’re up for a discussion about the cultural bias and general nerve damage the show you produce suffers from then I'm all for it. have a good night."