Two-time Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Frank Ocean was a problem child.
“I was expelled and suspended it felt like every five minutes,” the “Channel Orange” rapper revealed in a cover story for W Magazine’s New Originals Issue.
Ocean, born Christopher Edwin Breaux, grew up in The Big Easy but his childhood in New Orleans was anything but.
His father left the family when he was 6 and as a youth, he attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings with his maternal grandfather.
Ocean said that when the utilities were terminated, he and his close-knit relatives would go to each others’ homes to use the facilities.
As far as school, he admitted to not having “a deep affection for authority.”
The Odd Future member’s bad behavior changed when he “became obsessed with figuring out how to make a career in music. And that interest fostered a different mentality. I think it was also around the transition to becoming a teenager, and I got really calm.”
“My mom comments on that fairly often,” he added. “I feel like I still had a lot of inner chaos, but I didn’t express it the same way. So that probably was noticeable.”
A career in music was a “driver to get out of the neighborhood,” Ocean said.
“I remember feeling no attachment to music necessarily, more an attachment to what music could bring if I succeeded, you know, financially,” he explained. “And that meant freedom from my situation at the time, and maybe what I was projecting onto my own future.”
The “Thinkin’ Bout You” crooner said he still can’t believe that people are interested in his life.
“I wake up shocked that I do what I do for a living," he said, adding "and at the strangeness of being a figure that is asked questions, and that people want to talk about my thoughts or my anything.”