Frank Ocean is not eligible for any 2017 Grammy awards after failing to submit his latest albums for consideration — but the star says that was no mistake.
“I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience,” Ocean told the New York Times, referencing the San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s attention-grabbing protest of police brutality. “I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated.”
Ocean, 29, released Endless and Blonde — his first since 2012’s Channel Orange — in August but did not submit the projects for consideration by the Sept. 30 deadline. He said officials with the Recording Academy reached out to his representatives, but he did not speak with them directly before making his decision to skip the Feb. 12, 2017 award ceremony.
“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” he told the Times. “It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”
The singer’s new albums prompted the Twittersphere to breathe a sigh of relief. Fans grew antsy as the elusive artist stayed out of the public eye and did not release any major projects since Channel Orange.
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Ocean told the Times that during his time away from the spotlight he lived in London and experienced a number of personal setbacks.
“I had, in the midst of all of this, this feeling of isolation,” he said. “Within my circle, there was a lot of places I thought I could turn that I felt like I couldn’t turn to anymore.”
He also bought himself out of his contract with Def Jam and purchased his master recordings with his own money, the Times reports. He released Endless, which was distributed by Def Jam, but Ocean released Blonde independently.
“The album I listen to the most this year is Frank Ocean’s album,” he said at a concert in October. “If his album is not nominated in no categories, I’m not coming to the Grammys. As artists we gotta come together.”