Whether Frank Ocean’s expedited digital release of channelORANGE will perform well on the charts next week is more or less a no-brainer at this point, however there are still controversies surrounding its arrival. Comments Ocean’s manager Christian Clancy made on Twitter yesterday kicked speculation into high gear when he accused Target of declining to carry the physical record not only because of its surprise iTunes digital pre-release (which, as Billboard reports, was planned from the beginning) but also because of its sticky history with anti-LGBT rights campaigns.
“Target has refused to carry Frank’s album because of iTunes exclusive,” Clancy wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “Interesting since they also donate to non-equal rights organizations.” That last bit, of course, refers to Ocean’s recent coming-out of sorts on Tumblr just days before he dropped ORANGE and gave his breathtaking Monday night performance on Fallon. Target, which did carry out singer Adam Lambert’s recent landmark No. 1 album, issued a statement last night in response to the rumors:
“At Target, we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, so our selection of new releases is dedicated to physical CDs rather than titles that are released digitally in advance of the street date,” the company said. “The claims made about Target’s decision to not carry the Frank Ocean album are absolutely false. Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business. Our assortment decisions are based on a number of factors, including guest demand. Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting music and artistry that reflects the diverse landscape of American culture. Our history of partnering with diverse artists includes recent partnerships with a variety of musicians, such as Ricky Martin, B.o.B, and Gloria Estefan.”
Clancy has since apologized for the comment via tweet, calling it “simply an emotional knee jerk reaction” and clarifying that Target is “not carrying Franks album because it went digital first. Not for ANY other reason.”
Also in the land of Responding to Frank Ocean’s Love Life, the Wall Street Journal points to a recently launched anti-hate website, called Hate Tweets to Frank Ocean, that aggregates the veritable cornucopia of homophobic tweets that have gone out since Ocean’s coming-out post and encourages readers to “reply to [username] with ♥” with their own accounts.
In a rather pointed move (likely to keep fans excited about ORANGE‘s physical release), Ocean and his crew let the record’s physical-only bonus track “Golden Girl,” which features a surprisingly mature verse from Odd Future-mate and part-time ORANGE mixer Tyler, the Creator, drift onto YouTube following Target’s statement last night. Hear it below (via Vulture):