One of the most reclusive artists in all of music, André 3000 usually, if we’re lucky, has one to two features a year. With Frank Ocean’s release of Blond(e), another highly reclusive artist, a whole track was included entitled “Solo (Reprise),” with André spitting some of the most honest bars of the year in his classic, mind-dizzying style. Usually, that would have been all we heard from that half of Outkast, but Three Stacks didn’t stop there.
He also appeared on “30 Hours” from Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, “the ends,” the opener to Travis Scott’s Birds in the Trap, “Junie” from Solange’s A Seat at the Table, “Kids” from A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got it From Here, and two tracks off of the latest Kid Cudi release. I don’t know if 3000 is preparing a solo comeback record, like I hope of T-Pain, but I honestly couldn’t be happier either way. If anything, there were seven André 3000 features in 2016, and that’s seven more features than we usually see.
Frank Ocean on the other hand, someone we never hear from at all, was not only still alive, but released two albums.
If Frank showed us anything on Blonde, it’s his honesty and vulnerability. Plus, while I gave the first record of the two a harsh review back when it came out, there are really good elements of Endless. Even with personal records like Lemonade and A Moon Shaped Pool released this year, I find it funny that I feel closest to, and now understand, maybe the most reclusive artist in all of pop music. For all the mystery and enigma that has trailed Frank Ocean for the past four years, Blonde turns it all around, where he finally shares everything, and I’m glad we weren’t assholes enough about it all that he felt like he could still confide in us.