2015 was an incredible year in music. It seemed like every popular artists dropped an album or a few singles. Adele made her triumphant return with 25. Kendrick Lamar delivered with one of the best albums of this decade. We even got a new album from Dr. Dre for Christ’s sake.
While these and many other artists went on to have a successful year, Frank Ocean was living carefree as his fans wallowed in misery.
Enough is enough. Frank Ocean has trolled us for way too long now. Boys Don’t Cry, if that’s even the name of the album, was supposed to come out in July. Six months later, we’re still without new jams. It has reached the point where people can’t listen to Channel Orange without getting upset. Ok, I’m sure that’s not true — but still, this sick joke isn’t funny anymore. There must have been a bet with Rihanna to see who can piss off their fans the most.
Remember how you felt on August 1st? Did you feel betrayed? Were you instantly struck with distress when you opened iTunes and saw no new Frank Ocean album? Maybe his Tumblr postwas a late April Fool’s joke. Maybe it was his new magazine — which explains why he interviewed Lil’ B last year — that was supposed to debut in July.
Nevertheless, it’s a new year and we haven’t received anything — not even a lead single or a guest verse. To add salt to the wound, Frank canceled a headlining appearance at FYF Festival at the last-minute. A show which could have served as a premiere for new music, but instead Frank bailed without any true reason.
The follow-up to a masterpiece such as Channel Orange takes time to craft and perfect. Frank is a true artist. He has always been meticulous with how he crafts his work. He has never put out anything that sounded rushed or faulty. The world knows that and everyone has beared with Frank for the last two years. You can’t rush art, but you also can’t promise a new project and then renege without an explanation. It’s like promising your newly-licensed teenager a car but then tell them “JK here’s a new bike.”
Frank’s mishandling of this whole ordeal is what’s causing such a gripe with fans. As SPIN’s Brennan Carley noted: “failing to deliver anything and not offering so much as an update, a press release, or a tweet — shows a total lack of regard for people waiting eagerly on the edge of their keyboards every night at midnight, hoping for a crumb, a snippet, a tease.”
Could he have waited until all details were finalized before declaring a new album? Sure. But album delays are not a rarity and Frank could have very well had an album prepared. To say that he should have never said anything about the album would be kind of ridiculous.
Now fans’ patience is running thin. They will remain restless, the jokes will continue, and pieces, like this, will be written until Boys Don’t Cry finally surfaces. A new song will keep them quiet and occupied for at least three months until the cycle resumes.
People want to see proof. It doesn’t matter anymore that he’s been in the studio with Rich the Kid, or he’s been working on speech harmonization. All hell will break loose if there’s no snippet, video announcement, or album artwork by the end of next month.
Truthfully, I would be content with an abysmal year in music like 2014 as long as Frank Ocean drops an album. Quite frankly, everyone would be too.