HOUSTON, TX.– For nearly 7 hours, Democratic presidential candidates spent their evenings discussing their stances on climate, foreign policy, and the future of the United States. While the crowd posed a variety of thought-provoking questions, no question invoked further discussion than the one raised by our Swallow Media columnist Jake Rivard. During each candidate’s row at the town hall, he used his unique opportunity to ask a question that will sway voter opinion more than any social or environmental issue:
What does each candidate think of Frank Ocean?
Each candidate provided their thoughts in brief snippets, each more pointed than the last:
Cory Booker: Our Ocean is one of our nation’s most important natural resources. That’s why, as President, I will enact a Save Our Ocean campaign to keep our dear Ocean safe from pollution and environmental hazard. As — wait — Frank Ocean is a person? Oh — oh yeah. I knew that. Yeah. I’m a huge fan of Frank Ocean. I am a very large fan of Oceans of all kind. Especially Oceans named Frank. A vote for me is a vote for Oceans.
Elizabeth Warren: In this current social climate, nothing is more important to me — or any other American — than the prospect of a new Frank Ocean album. But, people — and hear me out on this one — we can’t just leak his unreleased tracks, or force him to drop an album. That destroys his credibility as a flawless artist and it erodes what makes us human. We need to give the man space so he can blow us out of the water like he did in 2016 with Blonde. As President, I will ensure that Frank can pull out all the stops he needs to bless our ears again.
Amy Klobuchar: (Before answering the question, Klobuchar looked down at her notes, her hands shaking.) Frank Ocean (born Christopher Edwin Cooksey on October 28, 1987; later Christopher Edwin Breaux) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, and photographer. Ocean began his musical career as a ghostwriter, prior to joining hip hop collective Odd Future in 2010, and the following year released Nostalgia, Ultra, his debut mixtape. The mixtape was a critical success and generated the single “Novacane”, which peaked at number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was later certified platinum. Ocean subsequently secured a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings in 2012.
Andrew Yang: (Note: Andrew Yang chose to answer the question, but his microphone seemed to conveniently cut out as he began a charismatic speech about the outro of Mitsubishi Sony.)
Joe Biden: I’m more of a Chris Brown guy myself. I mean, when’s the last time you went to the club and said “hey, put on that new Frank Ocean track”? Yeah. That’s what I thought.
Pete Buttigieg: Frank and I go waaaaaaay back. Who do you think Blonde was written about? Yeah. That’s right. You’re welcome.
Bernie Sanders: The fact that Frank Ocean hasn’t released an album since Blonde in 2016 is an absolute tragedy. As President of the United States, I will work above and beyond to ensure that Frank releases a new project soon. His music is the lifeblood of a nation, the heart of our collective consciousness. His honeyed voice holds us during our darkest moments and lifts us up during our highest highs. We as a society ask — no, demand — that Frank drops another classic with songs like Self Control and White Ferrari and Siegfried and — (The debate hosts cut off Bernie before he could continue.)
Kamala Harris: Isn’t he that “potato flew around the room” guy?
Julian Castro: Yes, I’m a really big fan of…(he paused for a moment to squint at his hand) Frick Oven…? Yeah, his song…Thinning About You is a…national…fissure. Huh. That doesn’t sound right.
Beto O’Rourke: (Before answering his question, Beto climbed atop his podium and began to wave his hands as he spoke.) Psh. Half of you casuals haven’t even been around since the Nostalgia Ultra days. Bet you couldn’t even name three songs on the album. Bet you don’t even know Frank’s real name. How many of you have a poster of the Odd Future gang hanging in your room? How many of you can say you kiss a framed photo of Frank every night before you go to bed? That’s what I thought.
The first Democratic Presidential Debate will be held on September 15th in Houston. Jake Rivard will be in attendance, hoping to grill each candidate on their power-rankings of Kanye West’s discography.