Frank Ocean almost never does press. For an artist as high-profile as he is, Ocean is extremely private, and when he’s not making music, he really only communicates with the public via his newly-public Instagram and his Apple Music radio show. So it’s news that Ocean is on the cover of GQ’s February issue and that he has actually consented to give an interview.
Of course, Ocean’s interview is not the standard GQ feature. He did not spend a few days with a professional writer, doing fun character-revealing exercises in some far-flung place and eventually revealing the deeper truth of his character. That’s not how he works. Instead, Ocean did a phone interview with Vegyn and Emmett Cruddas, his Blonded Radio co-hosts. So don’t expect any actual news from the interview, or any moments that give us a new insight into who Frank Ocean is. But there is some fun smaller stuff.
For instance, Ocean is a big advocate of the SCOTTeVEST, the travel vest with all the pockets that gets advertised on infomercials. He seems awfully excited about it. Here’s what he says:
The SCOTTeVEST! Men need to get hip to the SCOTTeVEST. You can put anything in it. Your water bottle, your cell phone, your motorcycle helmet — you can put all that shit inside the SCOTTeVEST. That’s the infomercial vest, really deep pockets… But it’s modular, too. You can also zip the arm on—it’s like a paramilitary vest. It’s also a name that’s ready for rap lyrics.
Also, Ocean goes on for some length about his skincare routine:
Man, listen… some days, like today, I feel very beautiful. But some days, like in the winter, when I wear a lot of knit hats, my skin doesn’t like that. My mom told me years ago that you gotta get somebody to stitch the silk inside the lining of the cap so it doesn’t irritate your skin, ’cause your skin is sensitive. I didn’t listen to my mom, but I really do believe in a night cream. I feel like men just go to sleep. They may wash their face or they don’t even bother—they go to sleep with the day face on. You really need to do a gentle wash and put a night moisturizer on. You can’t have the retinol in your creams in the day because it makes you more sun-sensitive, so you wanna throw that on at night. I need the night cream because when I wake up I feel very beautiful, moisturized and ready to have people making eye contact with me, ready to look above my eyebrow, below the eyebrow. [laughs] That’s the life hack right there. It’s been all these years, and Pharrell still hasn’t given us the keys yet. He just says “exfoliate,” but it’s not just “exfoliate”: We need more keys.
And Ocean watches a lot of cable news, even though he knows it’s basically bullshit:
Maybe my vice is that I watch way too much TV news. I know that I’m not getting real information, but I still watch it. I wish my vice was VH1 reality-TV shows, but it’s not — it’s MSNBC. MSNBC is Love & Hip Hop with better vocabulary and more range, but it’s the same thing. Very much entertainment.
In the interview, Ocean also talks about picking cover songs, trying to strike a private/public balance, and attempting to do his tiny part to get people to vote. And he tells a story about passing out drunk at Art Basel. You can read the whole thing here.