Don’t place all the blame on Frank Ocean


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Frank Ocean, seen performing in 2017, headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival over the weekend.

By Valentina Saldaña, Sports Editor

Frank Ocean has been facing a lot of backlash for his performance at Coachella’s weekend one set, and now even more for dropping from the weekend two setlist. But I don’t think he deserves all the blame here. 

Ocean is a distinct artist. He doesn’t frequently drop music or engage with fans on social media, but his mystique is what allures so many fans. 

His last studio album ‘Blonde’ was released in August of 2016, almost seven years ago, and he still gets over 25 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Ocean also has his own radio station on Apple music named ‘Blonded Radio.’

He also hasn’t had a live performance since 2017 which is why many fans were ecstatic to see him return to the stage as a headliner for Coachella, the biggest music festival on the West Coast. 

According to Variety, some of the issues began before his actual performance. Ocean’s set was supposed to be an “elaborate stage production.” 

The production would have included a full-size ice skating rink with ice skaters who would have skated around him and the live band. Variety reports that Ocean “abruptly” called that off, causing the singer to perform an hour later than his original set time.     

With the ice skaters practicing for weeks and an ice skating rink going to waste in the middle of a hot Coachella Valley, I can see why this has caused an uproar. 

But Ocean had actually been in a biking incident that led to two fractures in his left leg, according to Rolling Stone. It makes sense why it was an abrupt decision, but it’s also reasonable considering his injuries. 

Nonetheless, Ocean still performed through injury and criticism. 

That would only be the start as many fans watching Coachella from home realized that his performance wasn’t scheduled to livestream on YouTube. There isn’t a clear answer on why his set wasn’t scheduled, but Variety’s source claims that his set was never “publicly” scheduled to broadcast. 

Therefore, once again, it’s not Ocean’s fault. 

When it came to the actual performance being started an hour late, many fans think it didn’t live up to their expectations because he was sitting for much of the time and not really “performing,” but that was because of his injury.  

During the performance he talked about his younger brother, Ryan, who passed away back in 2020 in a car accident. Ocean touched a bit on how Ryan and he would always attend Coachella together, saying how he “would’ve been so excited,” to be there with them.   

Once the performance was officially over, even more criticism started pouring in through social media. After all that, Ocean officially dropped from weekend two, which I think was the best thing to do. 

Dealing with the loss of a person you love is the hardest thing one can go through. No one is ever prepared to lose someone and it is especially tough if that loss is connected to a place or event.. 

Grief has no time limit and it’s evident Ocean is rightfully having a hard time. 

Anyone who has younger siblings can put themselves in his shoes and realize how tough the situation that he is in has to be. I can’t imagine losing a sibling of mine and still have to perform, get injured and still get criticized.  

I think a lot of the time, society tends to put celebrities on a high pedestal and expects them to do the most for the public when they are really just regular people like us. 

Plus, there was a large lack of transparency through Coachella to their festival supporters. On Twitter, Coachella’s account was hinting at a livestream leading up to Ocean’s set, even though it was never officially scheduled. 

Ocean definitely doesn’t deserve all the hate he’s been getting, especially while grieving for his brother and returning to a place that holds fond memories of them at the festival together.