Unconditional brotherly love. Frank Ocean’s brother got a tribute at his headlining Coachella set. The “Pyramids” artist reminisced about the times that he spent with his deceased brother at the desert music festival when he headlined on April 16, 2023.
“It’s been so long…. But I have missed you,” Frank told the audience. “I want to talk about why I’m here because it’s not because of a new album… Not that there’s not a new album.” He then hushed the cheerful audience. “You know, these last couple years, my life changed so much… My brother and I, we came to this festival a lot. I feel like I was dragged out here half the time because I hated the dust out here, I always left with a respiratory infection, or what have you. So I would avoid coming, but I would always end up here. One of my fondest memories was watching Rae Sremmurd on I don’t know what that stage is called with my brother. And Travis [Bennett], I don’t know if Travis/Taco is here, but we was just dancing in that tent to their music, and I know he would’ve been so excited to be here with all of us. I want to say thank you for the support and the ears and the love over all this time.”
Here’s what happened to Frank Ocean’s brother.
What happened to Frank Ocean’s brother?
What happened to Frank Ocean’s brother? Frank Ocean’s brother Ryan Moore, also known as Ryan Breaux, was killed in a car crash in August 2020. He was 18. Breaux died from blunt force head injuries in a single-vehicle collision early morning on August 2, 2023, in Thousand Oaks, California the Ventura County Medical Examiner confirmed. Ezekial “Zeek” Bishop, 20, who was driving at the time of the crash, also died of blunt force injuries, the medical examiner said.
Ryan, Frank and their sister, Ashley “Nikkii” Ellison were raised by their mother Katonya Breaux Riley in Long Beach, California. Ryan attended Oaks Christian School with Ezekial. The school made a statement to Hollywood Life at the time, “It is with much sadness that Oaks Christian confirms the loss of two graduates from our Class of 2019. As the media has already reported Ezekial “Zeek” Bishop and Ryan Moore Breaux lost their lives in a car accident in Westlake Village early Sunday morning. The school community, through faculty, staff and leadership, has reached out to the families of both Zeke and Ryan to express our heartache and grief, pray with them and embrace them with love and compassion. We ask that our community join us in lifting these families up in prayer as they grieve the loss of these very special two young men.”
In Frank’s 2011 mixtape Lonny Breaux, many people speculated that the song “Orion” was about Ryan. “I remember when you were born/Ohh, how happy I was/cause If it didn’t go as I planned it,” Frank sang. “At least you’d double my chances… But promise big bro one thing, That you won’t go wasting time/ won’t go wasting time/ (no) that you won’t go wasting time/ Won’t go wasting time/Don’t go wasting it,” he also sings.
Frank also featured his brother in one of his songs for the hit album Blonde. “Futura Free” has an outro of a compilation of interview for Franks Boys Don’t Cry magazine between his brother, Ryan, Mikey Alfred, Sage Elsesser, Evan Clark and Na’kel Smith. When the song was released, Ryan freaked out about his feature on Twitter. He tweeted, “THIS IS WORSE THAN MY YEARBOOK PICTURE” before tweeting that he was 11 at the time of the recording.
In 2017, Katonya opened up to Billboard about how it was raising both Frank and Ryan. “It’s interesting because I’m a different mom to Ryan than I was with Chris [Frank Ocean]. I was young—I was 21 when I had Chris. I would just say to treat them as humans and to understand. When we get caught up in the moment, we want them to hurry and sit up, or hurry up and talk, but the time goes by so fast so you really want to savor every moment. I know it sounds so trite, but it takes having a child and then having them become an adult to really realize how quickly it goes by. Enjoy the time with them, realize they’re people too, with thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and choose our battles—choose the battles that really impact the type of person they become and how they can contribute to the society we live in.” She also told the music outlet that Ryan was Frank’s biggest fan.” I would definitely so—well, maybe Ryan. Ryan will put those songs on repeat 50 times a day. I would definitely say Ryan, and I’m number two.”
On his first death anniversary, Katonya posted a loving tribute on Instagram, “He’s still with us. Still with me. Forever loved. Painfully missed. Still with me. It’s strange how the body remembers. Remembers dates. Remembers times. Flashbacks. Memories. Darkness…”
During his set at Coachella, Frank recalled how 2020 changed him. “Back in 2020, I was just starting to throw parties in little clubs in New York that were just getting started before sh–t started shutting down.” He continued, “And I was having such a good time playlisting music and listening to so much new music and encountering DJs who were up and coming and who were really on their sh–. It’s become such a part of my practice now with my new weekly thing, with [Apple Music 1’s] Homer Radio that we’ve been working on…. It’s good that it’s not always about me.”
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