Miguel, Please Stop Talking About Frank Ocean

We get it: You don't like him.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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I’m glad Miguel has realized that when it comes to comparisons between he and Frank Ocean, there is “no need to compare apples to oranges.” Of course, this dawned on the singer-songwriter several hours after an excerpt of his interview with The Sunday Times where he did just that quickly floated across the Internet and subsequently sparked criticism. It is hard to imagine that Miguel didn’t know exactly what he was doing when he told his Sunday Times interviewer Paul Lester about Ocean, "I wouldn’t say we were friends. To be completely honest—and no disrespect to anyone—I genuinely believe that I make better music, all the way around."

As Lester notes, Frank Ocean appears when he goes to greet Miguel in the bar of a central London hotel. Lester then goes on to essentially goad Miguel into commenting on Ocean. Like, say, when Lester asks Miguel what he makes of Ocean’s purported status as R&B’s “trouble man” to which he replies, “But that’s Frank. Frank is the tortured. That’s his thing. That’s not who I am. I may not be dark—as dark—and I may not be as poetic, but I’m living my real shit.”

There’s something to be said about being honest and confident, but there’s a fine line some artists may want to start towing if for no other reason than to not sound like a board of member of Petty, Inc.

Miguel’s comments read as pointed and personal, and for those of who remember his interview with Fader magazine in 2012 where he acknowledged that the two were “once close.” They are clearly not now, so in the future, maybe it’s in Miguel’s best interest to stop talking about Frank Ocean. The same way Miguel wouldn’t discuss his relationship with Frank Ocean on the record in that past interview is how Miguel should handle future inquiries.

There’s something to be said about being honest and confident, but there’s a fine line some artists may want to start towing if for no other reason than to not sound like a board of member of Petty, Inc.

This is not the first time Miguel has made a questionable comment about Frank. Around the same time as TheFader interview, Miguel did an interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club and when asked about the timing of Frank Ocean revealing his first love was a man, Miguel said, “It could have been a marketing ploy, who’s to say? At the end of the day, as a grown-ass man, I don’t really care what the sexuality of the next man is.”

Then there was the time Miguel lost Best Urban Contemporary Album at the Grammy Awards to Frank Ocean and noticeably remain seated (along with fellow category loser, Chris Brown) as the rest of the audience gave Ocean a standing ovation. Would I stand up to applaud someone who just beat me out for a Grammy? Doubtful, but I wouldn’t then later give an interview to TMZ about it, either.

As much as I enjoy Miguel’s talent, music, and drive, there is a part of his persona that feels like a needle dancing all over my last nerve. Maybe Frank Ocean is a terrible person, or if nothing else, was not a good friend to Miguel. Maybe they were roommates and he never returned Miguel’s security deposit. Perhaps they used to listen to each other’s songs and one was far more supportive than the other. Or Frank Ocean is just a jackass.

I don’t know, and frankly, it doesn’t matter, but what I have learned over the years is that Miguel is not friends with Frank Ocean, thinks Frank Ocean could’ve used that whole loving a man thing as a marketing ploy, and now wants everyone to know he feels he makes better music than Frank Ocean. But you know, please don’t compare them anymore because it’s apples and oranges.

If that is indeed the case—and so we’re clear, it is—do yourself and the world a favor, Miguel, and don’t fucking talking about Frank Ocean anymore. You are an award-winning singer and songwriter whose star only continues to climb. You are not bound by anyone to discuss any other act, much less one whose music doesn’t sound like yours but falls under the category of “different,” and thus, “comparable” to lazy music writers.

Should you not give it up and turn it loose, Miguel, you’re going to come across as the Keri Hilson to Ocean’s Beyoncé. Do you want that? No, you don’t, therefore, let this essay be your mini-edition of Iyanla, Fix My Life. Let it go, Pimental. Let it go.

See you at the concert next month.

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem, and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him@youngsinick.

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