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  • Frank Ocean @ The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards
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Frank Ocean

At least one of your Stereogum correspondents is so lame and old that he didn’t actually watch last night’s VMAs, for like the first time in decades, because he was watching some political convention on some other channel instead. But according to my Twitter feed, the indisputable highlight, unless you’re super into One Direction or whatever, came when Frank Ocean sang “Thinkin Bout You,” one of the most immediate tracks from Channel Orange. Ocean sat on a stage made to look like a beach bonfire, with only one guitarist accompanying him throughout, and he sold it well enough that the crowd cheered when he stood up. His voice sounded cracked and imperfect and awesome. Watch it below.

The show also had performances from Rihanna with A$AP Rocky and Lil Wayne with 2 Chainz, but that’s nothing you really need to worry about.

Comments (11)
  1. First sentence riffin on the all-of-us-are-the-same-person-and-probably-Michael_ comment conceit? Tubular bro!

  2. What a pimp. Obama was a bit lackluster and the three finalists chosen on AGT were kinda weak. I wish I watched this instead.

  3. I love how stripped down and understated this performance is. A rare occurrence for the VMA’s.

  4. does anyone think the guitarist started a little fast? halfway through he got it and slowed it to the correct tempo, but frank was having a hard time keeping up in the beginning. there is no shame in giving a little signal to slow down if you’re not comfortable yet. it was great though, starting from the halfway point.

  5. Uh seriously who the fuck is playing guitar in this?

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