The moment fans have been waiting for is finally here: Frank Ocean dropped his new album Blonde. While people have speculated who various tracks are about, there's a certain someone who's featured on the song "Be Yourself" that's worth mentioning — his mother. So, who exactly is Frank Ocean's mom? Aside from being his biggest cheerleader, Katonya Breaux Riley is also a businesswoman. She founded a sunscreen company called Unsun Cosmetics. As explained on the Unsun website,
Unsun was made specifically for people of color representing the beige to dark chocolate tones of the spectrum. The desire to protect our skin from the sun should not mean having to wear foundation in order to cover the white and gray film that presents after application.
She writes about her frustration with the white film that formed on her skin when applying regular sunscreen. Props to her for seeing a need and going out there to create change — because there should be products for all skin tones. She also spreads the important message of using sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's damage, saying, "our beauty and our lives depend on it." That's definitely an admirable effort.
To quote Mean Girls, Riley isn't a regular mom, she's a cool mom. That means she's super active on social media. She regularly posts tweets and Instagrams supporting her son (and her sunscreen line). As soon as Blonde was released, she supported her son on Twitter.
See what I mean? She's so hip with her hashtags. She also posted the heartfelt message below in 2012, after her son made a statement about his sexuality. Riley always has Ocean's back no matter what.
For these reasons, it makes sense that Ocean would want to sample a message from his mom on his new album. In the recorded call — which sounds like a voicemail — she warns him against using drugs and drinking. She also encourages him to be himself. Here's an excerpt:
"Don't try to be someone else. Be yourself and know that's good enough. Don't try to be someone else. Don't try to be like someone else, don't try to act like someone else, be yourself. Be secure with yourself. Rely and trust upon your own decisions. On your own beliefs. You understand the things that I've taught you. Not to drink alcohol, not to use drugs. Don't use that cocaine or marijuana because that stuff is highly addictive. When people become weed-heads, they become sluggish, lazy, stupid and unconcerned. Sluggish, lazy, stupid, and unconcerned. That's all marijuana does to you, OK? This is Mom."
Instead of rolling his eyes at his mom's advice, he went and made it public. Why? It sounds like a message that resonates beyond himself. It's also a powerful way to honor the woman who helped make him who he is today.
Even though her son is a star in the music world, Riley is pretty business-savvy herself. Beyond being a mom, she's a career woman with a big heart — and what's better than that?