Jermaine Dupri Hopes Frank Ocean Can Save R&B

Jermaine Dupri and Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean is winning praise from critics with his major-label debut channel ORANGE. But Jermaine Dupri hopes the album’s success has a larger impact on the entire genre of R&B. The So So Def CEO wrote a letter on his site Global 14 lauding the album and hoping that it sells 200,000 copies (HITS Daily Double estimates sales of 125-135,000 in its first week based on iTunes only).

According to the hitmaker, R&B is in a state of emergency and Ocean may just be the person to save it. “The record companies don’t believe in it, radio won’t play it if it don’t have a rapper, and a majority of the artist that are labeled RnB are confused and lost,” writes J.D.

He hopes channel ORANGE‘s success will send a wake-up call to label executives and get radio to play more R&B records.

Do you agree with J.D.? Read his open letter below.

When I saw the # that Frank Ocean is suppose to hit next week, I got extremely Happy,I said I need to get in my car and and listen to this album,by the time I got to “Sweet Life” I was even more happy,finally!! a RnB album that’s hip,with out having the same 5 rappers on every song,I actually hope he hits 200k,for the sake of RnB,it’s in the worst position it’s ever been since I started making music,The Record company’s don’t believe in it,Radio won’t play it if it don’t have a rapper,and a majority of the artist that are labeled RnB,are confused and lost,so I repeat,I hope Ocean sells more than the 125k that he’s on pace for,maybe these executives u’llwake the fuck up,or at least try to copy what he’s doing,like they always do, by the way,the end of “Pyramids” jammin like a mufucka.

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102 Comments

  1. YEEZYTAUGHTME

    But uhhhh…. Frank Ocean specifically said he is NOT an R&B artist, nor does he want to be labeled as one.

    [Reply]

    CBA Reply:

    @YEEZYTAUGHTME, he may say what he wants but he’s still an R&B artist.

    [Reply]

    bitchgetahobby Reply:

    @CBA, no he is pop..adele isn’t rnb

    [Reply]

    Nina Reply:

    @bitchgetahobby, I would say he’s Alternative R&B (people need to remember that R&B stands for RHYTHM & BLUES, which is a strong feature in all his songs!) And Adele’s soul/blues/adult-contemporary.

    [Reply]

    Replay Reply:

    @YEEZYTAUGHTME, yeah but everyone is acting like he is 100% r&b hahaha

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    @YEEZYTAUGHTME, Ahhh so that explains why the genre is tagged as pop on Channel Orange. I was wondering why Frank Ocean didn’t tag it as R&B.

    [Reply]

    Dro Reply:

    @YEEZYTAUGHTME, who would wanna be in the same category as any of these current “R&B” artists? They’re all generic. All same songs about clubbing and girls (either getting her, cheating on her, sexing, or winning her back) No innovation lyrically or vocally, same producers, same songwriters same material different name. I’ll be glad when R&B singers stop copying Michael Jackson, Usher, & R. Kelly like they’re the only male singers who ever lived!

    [Reply]

    DRB Reply:

    @Dro, Ding ding. R&B is dead and it’s their own fault. Just cause you can sing isn’t enough.

    [Reply]

    Ray Reply:

    @DRB, Unfortunatly being black already labels you as R&B, sad I know

    [Reply]

    me Reply:

    @Ray, This is so true! And sad :/

    [Reply]

    Say word Reply:

    @YEEZYTAUGHTME, Frank is an artist. He’s abstract and undefined. Obsession with labels takes the focus away from the beauty of his music. Just…Press…Play

    [Reply]

  2. Jason

    Damn Dupri!!! Look at that forehead!!!

    [Reply]

    Holtz Reply:

    @Jason, hahaha my first thought aswell :D

    [Reply]

  3. jeremydante

    frank already did.

    [Reply]

  4. _MEEET

    Wow RapUp i feel like im on a Frank Ocean fansite lol.. Im a fan tho so it doesnt matter but I dont think Frank Ocean is r&b i would label him more alternative…

    [Reply]

  5. G20

    channel orange is so dissapointing though, the weeknd is the best rnb artist at the moment

    [Reply]

    Kellz Reply:

    @G20, but he’s horrible live.

    [Reply]

    staci Reply:

    @Kellz, YES HE DEFINETELY IS !!! LIKE REALLY

    [Reply]

    _iamjones Reply:

    @G20, you insane channel orange is the best thing out right now

    [Reply]

    Replay Reply:

    @G20, not really. the weeknd isn’t rnb but people like you call him rnb his music has nothing to do with rnb…. u guys better research the meaning of RNB

    [Reply]

    G20 Reply:

    @Replay, soz i forgot you created the genre

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    @G20, The Weeknd’s great at creating atmosphere in his music. I consider it as R&B, but I don’t think right now it can be compared to Frank Ocean. Frank Ocean’s a better songwriter and performer, and I should also add I’m not a fan of The Weeknd’s live performances (he can sing but it’s wack as hell).

    [Reply]

    G20 Reply:

    @V, at least someone can actually make a interesting comment haha, yeah live the weeknd isnt the best but i just prefer the atmospheric tone

    [Reply]

    kelly Reply:

    @G20, OMG The weeknd can sing, i was wondering why rap up is sleeping on him, because he and TAMIA who has a new single out called beautiful surprise can save R&B…

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    @G20, What about channel ORANGE is disappointing?

    [Reply]

    G20 Reply:

    @Jake, just expected more novacane type of songs cos to me thats his best song

    [Reply]

    Sasha Reply:

    @G20, so true ! novacane is his best song so far !!!

    [Reply]

    Brass_knucklez Reply:

    @G20, Girl what????? All of The Weeknds lyrics sound like he’s whispering stolen Harry Potter spells. He’s never singing about anything complex or interesting or thought-provoking for that matter. He just makes nice “mood music”. And that is absolutely it. Sit in a corner sumwhere and don’t comment anymore.

    [Reply]

    Yasmine Reply:

    @Brass_knucklez, As a Harry Potter fan, I am #DEADDDDDDDDD … LMFAO!!!

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    @Brass_knucklez, DEAD

    [Reply]

    Replay Reply:

    @Brass_knucklez, Thanks enough said. The Weeknd isn’T RnB he tried to be a Rnb Singer but he failed, just listen his real old stuff or the one unrealsed one he can’t singt.

    [Reply]

    G20 Reply:

    @Brass_knucklez, right cos having a high pitched singing voice is such a bad thing… someone should of told MJ that

    [Reply]

  6. LOL

    Frank ocean isn’t really R&B, he kinda said it his self. Strange that he had to come out to get people to pay attention, and even stranger that he came out right around the corner of the albums release.

    [Reply]

    Julian Reply:

    @LOL, Yeah, like he really shouldn’t have came out when CLEARLY his lyrics he’s singing about women AND men.

    [Reply]

    LOL Reply:

    @Julian, I’m not saying he shouldn’t have came out, it’s just strange he came out right around the corner of his albums release.

    [Reply]

    whatever Reply:

    @LOL, what JD is saying is that it is a form of R&B not in the traditional sense of the genre.

    [Reply]

  7. Ice

    Frank Ocean isn’t the only one reviving good R&B, we have Elle Varner and Miguel to thank also.

    [Reply]

    whatever Reply:

    @Ice, yeah you right but miguel single is banging and there is no radio format for it to be played on

    [Reply]

  8. boom boom

    damn, lots of people putting faith on him.
    That’s good though, finally we have a good STAR on the rise.

    [Reply]

  9. AustynKing

    The only way R&B will make a comeback is if muthafuckaz stop supporting lame azz hip-hop records & making them #1. Check your history facts when it comes to real R&B (sales, charts, tours, etc.)

    [Reply]

  10. truth

    Why dident he mention R.Kelly with his Rnb??

    [Reply]

    Replay Reply:

    @truth, The funny thing is people are acting like channel ORANGE is one of the best rnb (????) albums… but it’s the same album like “write me back” from r. kelly… frank ocean is overrated as hell after he said he is bi lol

    [Reply]

    DEExDOPE Reply:

    @truth, because R-Kelly would be considered as traditional R&B not much growth if you ask me

    [Reply]

  11. Anthony

    Kelly Rowland, Elle Varner, Miguel, shit even that new Kiki Palmer song was even R&B but just doesnt get promotion. Especially Kelly.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    @Anthony, I’ve actually heard Motivation on the mainstream radio in my city. But that’s probably due to Lil’ Wayne’s popularity and not Kelly’s.

    [Reply]

    DRB Reply:

    @Shannon, Kelly is apart of the problem. Generic shit, generic producers, same rappers and rehashing past successes.

    [Reply]

    Anthony Reply:

    @DRB, that’s only recently though, I mean like on her album she had some good songs, but no one supported her.

    [Reply]

  12. Dezigner

    Damn…Rap-Up be on duty don’t they? lol JD just wrote that couple hours ago.

    [Reply]

  13. WonderLand19

    I’m gonna sound like a hater but i’m sick of this Frank Ocean talk. People saying he is gonna save RnB, That channel Orange is the next ‘The miseducation of Lauryen Hill’, The best album of the year and that this is a big move for the gay community. The overload of exposure is hitting dangerous levels. Can we move on already.

    I like ‘Thinking about Forever’ but i feel most of the you are getting gassed, real fast.

    [Reply]

  14. WonderLand19

    Overrated.

    [Reply]

  15. okk

    SOME ONE NEEDS TO SAVE JERMAINE DUPRI EYES FROM ROLLIN TO THE BACK OF HIS HEAD!!!

    [Reply]

    meme Reply:

    @okk, screamsssss lol

    [Reply]

    Brass_knucklez Reply:

    @meme, Lmaoooo. You know whaaaat, I’m going to bed early tonight after this comment. #dead and can’t be revived.lmao

    [Reply]

  16. Miles

    1.) Frank Ocean IS r&b for all those saying he isn’t. Its more diverse than most, but its still classified as r&b. i like alternative r&b

    2.) Miguel, Elle Verner are The Weeknd are all great r&b acts but lyrically Frank Ocean is lightyears away from them. plus, the Weeknd isn’t too great live. not bad, but not great

    3.) Unlike the other artist Frank Ocean is actually getting sales(whether him coming out was a publicity stunt or not). Idk bout The Weeknd, but Miguel and Elle Verner. If r&b doesn’t make a turn around they will probally never sell over 100,000 first week or go gold

    right now Frank is in a great position to help save the genre. I’m sure channel ORANGE wll inspire tons of r&b acts
    If Every r&b artist got together and said “enough is enough” and all put out quality r&b albums like channel ORANGE with out tons of rap feature, generic beats, same lyrical content, and techno pop, the genre can be saved. The radios can’t stop playing EVERY r&b artist if they all stop making what the radios want

    [Reply]

    Miles Reply:

    @Miles, *its Like alternative r&b

    [Reply]

  17. Morgan

    These comments are hilarious AF. Frank is horrible live? What are y’all listening to? And anyone with half a gnat’s brain who has listened to channel ORANGE knows that Frank isn’t strictly R&B — his music encompasses a wide variety of genres. He is the future of good, meaningful music if he keeps writing like this –and that’s all there is to it. The haters will deal….and multiply….as usual. But it’s all good.

    [Reply]

    Johnathan Reply:

    @Morgan, No one said anything about Frank being horrible live, they’re talking about The Weeknd.

    [Reply]

    Morgan Reply:

    @Johnathan, Yeah, true. But this comment also goes for the trolls commenting in the past couple of days saying the same for Frank.

    [Reply]

    Miles Reply:

    @Morgan, He is Alternative R&B.

    [Reply]

    LOL Reply:

    @Morgan, Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they are a hater.

    [Reply]

    Morgan Reply:

    @LOL, I’m referencing the crabs who criticize and just call him “wack” with no concrete explanations of why they labeled him so.

    [Reply]

    Morgan Reply:

    @LOL, I never said that, nor did I imply it. “Hater,” in my context, refers to those who blindly criticize and those with no substantial basis for their claims Frank is “wack,” etc.

    [Reply]

  18. Max

    Frank can deny his connection to the genre but “channel ORANGE” is 100% R&B album. And probably the best R&B album in a years.

    [Reply]

    Jay Reply:

    @Max, Nooooooooo pppllleaaassee please do not disrespect the genre by saying that! the best?! you cant be serious…maybe the one with the most attension…but the best?…No

    [Reply]

    Hank Reply:

    @Jay, How the hell is that disrespecting the genre? It’s his opinion. And here’s mine — Album of the Year.

    [Reply]

  19. Nina

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Frank’s music & proud of his success, but what about D’Angelo, Tank, R Kelly, Usher (at times lol), Dwele, Miguel, John Legend, Musiq Soulchild, etc???- and that’s just the male R&B artists!

    [Reply]

    Miles Reply:

    @Nina, He is basically saying that r&b doesn’t sell that much anymore. not like it use to. D’angelo has been on a long hiatus. I haven’t heard of Dwele doing anything in a while. Usher has turned to the Euro-Pop dark side. Miguel, John Legend, Musiq Soulchild. Yes they do make strictly r&b. But they don’t sell records.
    You rarely see a r&B song on the Hot 100 top 10. And all the R&B albums that had excellent sales than past few years were a blend between r&b and generic pop.
    this is the biggest sales we have gotten from a 100% r&b album since Usher ‘Here I Stand’

    [Reply]

    Nina Reply:

    @Miles, Yes, but Dupri’s acting like pretty much all R&B artists produce generic music, which is false. Frank’s definitely selling a lot right now, but it shouldn’t diminish the credibility of other artists. D’Angelo, for example, killed it on the BET awards, but a lot of young people won’t continue to support him (i.e. by purchasing his new material) because they’re not an up-and-coming artist if that makes sense (and instead, those artists are considered too ‘old’ by the younger generation). If Frank’s still selling loads when he’s on his 3rd/4th album, then maybe I’ll agree with you. Also remember that although Adele’s usually referred to as ‘pop’ (when she’s mainly soul/blues), she sold millions as well. So yeh, hopefully this trend continues!

    [Reply]

    Miles Reply:

    @Nina, He never said Frank Ocean is the only one making good R&B music. When is the last time you seen someone who made a pure 100% r&b album on top of the charts and selling. Since this dance-pop era rose music artist who stay true to their r&b background never sell records. never get radio play
    he is saying that he is glad to see someone that released a TRUE r&b album sell. he is not saying that Frank Ocean is the only person who makes real r&b

    [Reply]

    DEExDOPE Reply:

    @Miles, Correction this is the begets sale since Jill Scott – Light of the sun album and her album was also in the top 10 for a month.

    [Reply]

    Jorge Reply:

    @Nina, you also got to put the dream in there

    [Reply]

    DRB Reply:

    @Nina, The issue is they’re all doing the same thing in their own way. None of them are moving the genre forward, reinventing the wheel or doing something that hasn’t been done for the last 2 decades.

    [Reply]

  20. Grant

    WHY is it that every time there is a Frank Ocean post, The Weeknd’s name always finds its way into the equation?? Abel is so out there … I’d have to get high to even remotely relate to his music. Some of his songs are good, but damn.

    [Reply]

    kelly Reply:

    @Grant, Abel is the truth

    [Reply]

  21. DJInVincible74

    Jermaine is right though about the state of R&B music. It’s mostly downtempo records at the moment and has been for too long. What happened to good uptemo records like Mary J. Blige’s “Fine”, Janet’s “All For You”, Kirk Franklin’ “Looking For You”, and Destiny’s Child’s “Lose My Breath”? None of those songs needed a rent-a-rapper to become a huge hit. R&B artists need to break out of the mold the industry is in and try some new sounds and tempos.

    [Reply]

  22. DEExDOPE

    I must say channel ORANGE was to me an amazing album I personally call it experimental R&B because he blend his style of R&B with with diff genres. I also feel the part of his popularity is because of OFWGKTA, The Throne, and His Writing for Beyonce all of these artist have HUGE fan base

    But lets be real if/when Frank Ocean is nominated for a Grammy he will be in the R&B category not Pop because HE’S NOT POP!!!

    [Reply]

  23. -.-

    I hope all these old RnB Artists will come back to their roots….Beyoncé, Usher, Rihanna, Chris Brown, etc.
    I like their new electro sound but the RnB-Songs was muuuuuuuuuuuuch better…

    [Reply]

    Nina Reply:

    @-.-, Rihanna wasn’t really R&B though…she was more pop-reggae/dancehall, which I wish she would go back to. But yeh, this electro-dance pop phase needs to just go away!!!

    [Reply]

    meme Reply:

    @Nina, at one point rihanna was RnB. like take a bow and unfaithful. they were rnb popish…i wish she would go back to that. i applaud beyonce for trying to stick to rnb but not even her could sell it so no one can.

    [Reply]

  24. oebie

    Is this a stab at Usher? He was his mentor and they’ve created some great music. Their last song Foolin’ Around on Raymond v Raymond was great…miss those kind of songs from Usher. Don’t really dig his dance and new R&B style.

    [Reply]

    Miles Reply:

    @oebie, Since when did Usher mentor Frank Ocean??? are you thinking about Justin Bieber?

    [Reply]

    oebie Reply:

    @Miles, Oh haha, I was being a bit vague. I ment JD mentoring Usher.

    [Reply]

    Kalin Reply:

    @oebie, lol yesssss…I was thinking the same thing!!

    [Reply]

  25. TheDreamer

    The reason why Frank is getting attention is because he is innovative and his music doesn’t sound like everyone elses. I think R&B needs people like Frank, Miguel and Elle Varner to reivent r&b music. Usher tried on his new album with songs like Twisted, Dive and Show Me. But I still love traditional r&b like the music R. Kelly and Tank is putting out. R&B music isn’t selling at the moment cause radios aren’t playing it and dance music is popular. Hopefully Frank’s album will open the doors for radios to play r&b music again.

    [Reply]

    Basze Lineaj Reply:

    @TheDreamer, True That

    [Reply]

  26. bluski

    Ohh JD said what I feel. I miss REAL MUSIC. All thia pop stuff is makin my head spin. I mean ima always love Chris Browns mysic but I miss when he was heavier on the RnB. I hope music execs STOP tryna make themselves happy and make their artusts happy as well. Im pretty damn sure nit everyone wants to be makin music with Benny Benassi and David Guetta all the damn time.

    [Reply]

  27. Basze Lineaj

    wow Half yall comment are Funny and I understand What Jermaine Dupri saying but to me frank Ocean is a Good Musicial songwriter and whatever type of Music he sing That what he Good @ quite sure that he can do R&B/pop Rock Roll Music

    [Reply]

  28. Arie

    This is what is wrong with RnB, Frank gets a little buzz and all of a sudden he is gonna save the genre. The genre is not dead it is just not getting airplay. Let us not disrespect other artists just to try and uplift Frank. Tyrese, Eric Benett and others have released RnB album. Instead of putting down artist like Usher,Chris Brown and Trey Songz we should be thanking them for not deserting the genre completely, lets face it if they had done that their albums would have way bigger numbers. Think about it Usher and Chris dont need RnB they can dance so going all the way Pop would not require alot of effort, they stick to the genre because they love it but at the same time they have to make money so they do Pop Songs as well.

    [Reply]

    MH Reply:

    @Arie, Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Nina Reply:

    @Arie, Lol this was what I was trying to say!

    [Reply]

  29. Arie

    RnB fan need to take control of what they listen to on their Radio stations, they need to request RnB music, buy RnB music and lastly go to RnB show. There is not way an executive can dictate to the consumer on what they need to listen to, they can only give you a product but you have the final say on whether to purchase or not. Know your worth as a consumer.

    [Reply]

  30. TRA

    Frank Ocean is the future of R&B music right now. Frank Ocean is a great music artist, talented singer, and talented songwriter. Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange album is getting universal acclaim, great critical reviews, and decent record sales. The reason why Frank Ocean is getting a lot of respect is because Frank Ocean makes music that is different from some of the R&B artists out there. I think Frank Ocean is an alternative music artist who makes traditional R&B music, underground R&B music, mainstream R&B music, and mainstream pop music at the same time. Not too many R&B artists can carry those 4 styles of music into their own style of music.

    The problem with R&B music right now is that there are too many mainstream R&B artists who makes mainstream R&B music that sounds like mainstream pop music that turns out to be straight garbage getting completely overplayed on the radio. I respect Usher, Trey Songz, and Chris Brown as talented mainstream R&B singers, but all three of them make the same songs over and over again that completely gets overplayed on the radio.

    Another problem with R&B music is that most mainstream R&B artists feel like they need to continue to do songs with famous rappers in order to get radio airplay. That proves to everyone right there that Hip Hop has become more popular than R&B, and the record labels feel the only way an mainstream R&B artist can sell records is if they get rappers on their songs.

    The final problem with R&B music is that future R&B artists like Miguel, and Elle Varner don’t get the same radio airplay as Usher, Trey Songz, and Chris Brown. Usher’s Looking 4 Myself album got good reviews, but got terrible record sales. Chris Brown’s Fortune album got terrible critical reviews and terrible record sales compare to his last album. It didn’t help Chris Brown that the club incident with Drake overshadowed his promotion of this album, and there are unbiased music critics who have started to turn bias and hateful towards Chris Brown’s music since that Rihanna incident. It also didn’t help Chris Brown, since Chris Brown has been known to have a hothead and a huge temper problem. I think there are people who are looking for a new change in R&B music.

    Frank Ocean represents R&B music very well right now. I don’t think Frank Ocean is overrated at all. You can’t be overrated when other mainstream R&B artists continues to get overplayed on the radio. Channel Orange is the best album of the year right now, and Frank Ocean deserves any award that comes his way this year.

    [Reply]

    RealIssh Reply:

    @TRA, Very ingenious. You deserve to be a journalist because you hit every point precisely. If someone reads this and doesn’t comprehend what you’re saying, shame on them.

    [Reply]

    Sasha Reply:

    @TRA, EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS ! So true.

    [Reply]

  31. Brass_knucklez

    I don’t care that it took Frank “coming out” for everyone to notice how brilliant this kid is. As long as you all know now. And for the person up above me that compared him to R. Kelly, shame on you. That’s blasphemy. And when I find my Holy water, its over for you.

    [Reply]

  32. Jade

    I hope it does. It’s about time radios play his sh*t! I don’t even listen to it anymore… it’s like the REAL music is behind the scenes. It’s pretty sad. 7/17/2012 SUPPORT IT PEOPLE! It’s amazing, honestly. It’s like Frank takes you on a journey (musically).

    [Reply]

  33. RoyalTprod

    I dont know if he will. Wud lk hm to…ss….anyone wud b nice….n. Hiphop needs to b saved stop playn tht lil wayne drake bull on the radio…smh…

    [Reply]

  34. MinjaRule2012part2

    damn yall need to shut the F up and Stop hating on him Bitch

    [Reply]

  35. SirNoseDvoidOfFunk

    I think dude is so overrated. Dont care what it is pop or r&b, its just unsoulful and not funky at all. His lyrics may be okay, but his voice is so monotone and repetitive. The beats and music arent that much either. If he’s our modern day Prince or Stevie Wonder, its sad. Just a keyboard or guitarlick of these gods would destroy his whole career.

    [Reply]

  36. romeo

    this is stupid this guy have’nt yet has a top ten song in any chart and people saing he gonna save the a&b music,the last time any a&b song went to top 5 in in hot 100 was with you of chris brown,so stop given some manny credit to this guys he hasn,t done anything yet

    [Reply]

  37. B

    I think Franks is severely overrated! I think the closest person to saving R&B right now is MIGUEL.

    [Reply]

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