Way to cap a banner year. Nas called him a “gust of wind.” The Fader gave him a cover treatment. And now GQ has named Odd Future’s Frank Ocean the Rookie of the Year for 2011. Ocean’s journey started over five years ago with various pitfalls along the way. After bouncing through the major label system, he finally landed at Def Jam and scored songwriting gigs his peers would kill for.
“I got to grab my nuts and point my middle finger up,” says Ocean in the new issue of GQ. Indeed, 2011 saw him pen tracks for Beyonce’s 4, Bridget Kelly’s Every Girl EP, and JAY-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne.
Meanwhile, the singing wolf is putting finishing touches to his yet-to-be-titled full-length debut. “The record is written, we’re just trying to tie up all the production,” says Ocean. “Get everything sonically pleasing to me.
“When I started writing this record that was one of the things I said. I wanted to be able to perform well, for it to transition to stage well… It feels good, they work out well.”
The “Novocane” singer says he turned down Kanye West’s offer to appear on his debut album. “I told him, ‘As much as I want to work with you, I kinda want to do this without you,’ I kinda want to do it on my own,” he told BBC Radio 1′s Zane Lowe.