Frank Ocean

Critics' pick
Hype aside, the year’s two buzziest hip-hop albums—Jay-Z and Kanye’s self-toasting paean to superfame, Watch the Throne, and Tyler, the Creator’s goofy/chilling id-vomit breakthrough, Goblin—share a single factor: Christopher Francis Ocean, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter who guest-croons on each. But even more impressive is Nostalgia, Ultra, Ocean's own 2011 LP. Expect to hear most of the record at Ocean’s rescheduled NYC headlining debut; tickets for the canceled Nov 6 show will be honored on Sun 27.
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