Frank Ocean originally got his start as a member of the rap collective Odd Future. But, today, his influence is both far-reaching and undeniable.
After fulfilling his contract with Def Jam Records, Ocean dropped not one, but two, projects — “Endless,” which fulfilled his Def Jam contract, and the critically-acclaimed and influential “Blonde.”
These two projects alone have ensured that Frank Ocean left an indelible mark on the industry as a whole. But when you review the sum total of all that the man born Christopher Breaux in New Orleans, LA, you realize that he’s more than just a musical genius.
Writing for HotNewHipHop, Robert Blair said that while Ocean was a brilliant musician, his true prowess lay in his ability to parlay his impact into successful business moves. By becoming independent of any record label, Ocean became freer to express himself in such a way that wouldn’t be possible in a more restrictive label environment.
“Where others toe the line, Frank Ocean remains in a constant state of lateral thought. It’s exactly what led him to hatch this plot and deliver his masterpiece in the first place,” Blair said. “Now independent in every sense of the word, Frank’s resolve to carry the burden of his artistic, aesthetical, and administrative affairs has paid off to the nth degree. It even made the public unveiling of his Instagram account into a newsworthy event. By granting his audience brief, incendiary bursts of content that gives them plenty to theorize on and dissect for years at a time, Frank has created a self-sustainable model from which anyone making their first tentative steps into the music industry could harvest endless wisdom.”
Let’s take a look at how Frank Ocean parlayed that independent spirit into a $13 million net worth, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.
Frank Ocean has two Grammy Awards, a Brit Award for International Male Solo Artist in 2013 and an NME Award for Best International Male Artist in 2017.
Though he fulfilled his contract with Def Jam, successfully, Frank Ocean’s biggest musical success came when he became an independent artist, which begun with his sophomore album, “Blonde,” in 2016. The album debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), according to Rolling Stone.
As AfroTech previously reported, Frank Ocean recently launched Homer, an “independent American luxury company.”
“The first Homer collection comprises fine and high jewelry pieces, plus printed silk scarves. The pieces are handcrafted using 18K gold, recycled sterling silver, hand-painted enamel, and American lab-grown diamonds,” read the press release, which adds that the products are designed by the Homer team in New York City before sending the designs off to Italy for manufacture.
In August 2016, Frank Ocean released “Boys Don’t Cry,” a magazine filled with his photography that was released as a companion to his sophomore album, “Blonde.” In addition to Ocean’s photography, “Boys Don’t Cry” featured work from photographers like Wolfgang Tillmans, Viviane Sassen, Tyrone Lebon, Ren Hang, Harley Weir and Michael Mayren. Four months after “Boys Don’t Cry” was released, the British magazine Print featured a photo collection from Ocean. In 2017, he was sent to the Met Gala to do a photo gallery for the acclaimed fashion publication Vogue, and also did a photo spread for i-D magazine.
Other Business Ventures
Frank Ocean got his start in the music industry as a ghostwriter. He wrote hit songs for musicians like Justin Bieber, John Legend, Beyoncé and Brandy. Though he wasn’t credited for his contributions, he was certainly paid very well.
But Brandy recognized that Frank Ocean would soon be a household name.
“I’m like, ‘Dude, you’re special,'” she remembered. “‘Please know that you’re special.’ And he’s so meticulous and he needs everything to be on point and that’s when I knew that if he was gonna be an artist, he was gonna do it his own way. He trusted his gut, he trusted his instinct, and I’m just really proud that we are blessed by his talent.”