Channel that Two-Tone ‘Chanel’ with Frank Ocean

Brought to you with bright and sunny vibes from San Francisco’s Matching Half Cafe.


Beats 1 Radio on Apple Music has become a fruitful platform for Frank Ocean to talk music, money, tech…and release new singles.

On March 10th, Ocean premiered “Chanel” during Episode 2 of blonded RADIO. Not only did he premiere it, but he looped it on repeat for over 40 minutes with an official A$AP Rocky remix. Because, why not?

He colors in and out of the lines throughout the episode with finesse, featuring his eclectic taste of up-and-comers (Steve Lacy), composers (Mary Lou Williams), bassists (Thundercat), kings and queens of hip-hop (UGK), R&B (Usher), and soul (Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston).

He also brings us back to his 2015 Tumblr post.

I got two versions. I got twooo versions…

Ever since this mention, he’s consistently fleshed out “two versions,” whether it’s presenting a music video and audio version of “Nike” or creating confusion with his intended album name – “Blond” vs. “Blonde” – all of which speak to his dual forms of expression.

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 4.26.18 PM

Ocean takes his personal identity, primarily stemming from his bisexuality, and transforms it into an experience. It’s controlled and maintained as a common thread to develop his personal brand and relate with and engage his audience of listeners. This identity experience has come to represent his search for duality and acceptance of LGBTs in black culture, a community that still faces the struggle of stigmatization (see: Moonlight).

My guy pretty like a girl
And he got fight stories to tell
I see both sides like Chanel
See on both sides like Chanel


After 45 minutes of straight-repeat, Ocean’s hook, “I see both sides of Chanel” keeps ringing for an explanation. It’s been several days since International Women’s Day, but we’re still feeling lingering energies and reeling from its inspired themes.

Fashion falls within an interesting, two-tone industry when it comes to setting high expectations for females and its dual representation of femininity and feminism. Coco Chanel displayed and designed this ‘two-tone‘ contrast of femininity and feminism.

‘I got two-tones. I got twooo-tones…’

While her philosophy is notable, its primarily inspired by femininity and doesn’t quite come close to identifying as a strong symbol of feminism (aka, she’s no Gloria Steinem).

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.

Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.

I don’t know why women want any of the things men have when one of the things women have is men.

However, inside Chanel’s timeline, she introduced designs and styles as early as the 1920’s that subtly spoke to female liberation. Examples include her introduction of tweed, “a traditionally masculine fabric which inspires her iconic women’s suits” and woody perfume scents that were “one of the first oriental fragrances to be created for women.”

Feminist or not, Coco Chanel left her mark on the women’s movement, and as the fervor ensues, the fashion industry will continue to play subtle and stark roles in the fight for gender equality.

Serving as his muse, like Coco Chanel, two-tone versions are heavily ingrained in Frank Ocean’s fabric.

How are you channeling your weekend?


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