It’s almost been four years since Frank Ocean released his debut studio record Channel Orange. Fans have been teased and reeling with suspense for years now, all the way back to 2013, when Ocean reported that his sophomore record was almost done. And then again this past February, when a super-secret listening party supposedly took place, but all video and music evidence was deftly removed from the internet.
At this point we don’t know what to believe. It’s been three years and there’s still very little to be known about the highly anticipated record Boys Don’t Cry, or if the new album is even titled as such. Finally, just this past month, Ocean has let sources leak information concerning his (hopefully) upcoming album release. So, we’ve decided to scour the internet and compile what we know so far about Frank Ocean’s new album, potentially titled Boys Don’t Cry.
The first big tease: A Mysterious Tumblr Photo
Around this time last year, the Frank Ocean rumors kicked up again following a Tumblr post featuring a photo of himself sitting beside two stacks of magazines, one bearing the title Boys Don’t Cry. The image bore the following hashtags: #ISSUE1 #ALBUM3 #JULY2015 #BOYSDONTCRY. Naturally, fans thought they could expect the record to drop on July 15. But as the month came and went, so did the hope and patience of Frank Ocean fans everywhere. And we still don’t know what happened to the Boys Don’t Cry magazine. And, eight months later, we still don’t know when the album will drop…
He’s Alive!: Appearances on Kanye West’s and James Blake’s newest records
On the latest James Blake album The Colour in Anything, Frank Ocean received writing credits for two songs, “My Willing Heart” and “Always”. And most of you know by now that Kanye West’s TLOP features Frank Ocean twice, closing out “Wolves”, and then on his own in “Frank’s Track”. It’s probably frustrating to see Frank Ocean’s music live on through the songs of others instead of his own, but we think that alongside his collaborative efforts, Ocean has something truly amazing in the works.
First Endorsement: Chance the Rapper says the album is “amazing”
Chance the Rapper, who just recently released his third mixtape Coloring Book, has spoken out in support of Frank Ocean’s music and secretive lifestyle. “No-one is really able to find Frank when Frank goes away, literally no-one, not just publications,” he told Complex. “I know he’s away making a masterpiece. I think that Frank is very, very focused on his catalogue. Anything that you hear him on that’s a feature was recorded a long time ago.” This statement answers to how we’ve seen Frank appear on several artists’ catalogues while remaining completely silent on his own. And with Chance’s vote of confidence in the upcoming album, fans can and should continue to look forward to it.
Second Endorsement: James Blake says the new album is better than Channel Orange
With this much anticipation and this many setbacks, the release of a new record can be daunting, especially one that must follow the success of Channel Orange. Fans must be wondering to themselves: Will the wait even be worth it? Well, according to James Blake in a Rolling Stone interview, Ocean has made a “better” and “more mature” follow-up to Channel Orange. Blake even goes to say that he’s more a fan of Ocean’s “newer music” than his last full-length *gasp*. “It’s better. You grow, you improve, you nail a new message to the board. He’s had time to mature. It’s really cool to watch.” Though a record more successful than Channel Orange seems mythical at this point, we think there’s reason to believe.
A Credible Source: Ocean’s producer says the Channel Orange follow-up is on the way.
This past March, Frank Ocean’s producer James Ho (known as Malay), opened up about the upcoming Frank Ocean album in an interview with Pitchfork magazine. Though his response to “when can we expect the new Frank Ocean album” wasn’t as precise as we’d like, he did say that everyone is hard at work to get it out soon. “When he’s ready, the world is gonna get it. It could be tomorrow… well not tomorrow but maybe a month [laughs].” Though it’s already been a month since the interview, we’re holding onto the fact that Ocean’s producer anticipates fans will be “pleasantly surprised” with the new album.
Warning: The new album will not vibe the same way as Channel Orange
In the same Pitchfork interview, Malay stated the new record to contain a decidedly more relaxed atmosphere. “A lot of the stuff on this new album was done with a handheld mic sitting in the control room,” he says. “Frank’s exploring different vibes completely on this album. I wouldn’t say it’s vocally looser but just his mentality; it doesn’t seem as meticulous at certain times.” Seeing as Malay worked on 13 tracks out of 17 on Channel Orange, he very well may be the best expert on Ocean’s work, besides Ocean himself, that is.
Currently Breaking the Internet: The new Frank Ocean could drop tomorrow.
At this point, the only person we trust delivering news of the upcoming Frank Ocean album, is Frank Ocean himself. But this afternoon, a little birdie in the form of the “industry insider gossip” Twitter account @SnatchedBops reported that Frank Ocean’s new album will OFFICIALLY drop tomorrow, June 3rd. If this turns out to be true, Frank Ocean would have pulled off the most sneaky, long anticipated album release of the decade. We’re not kidding.
Stay woke, y’all. Because if not tomorrow, we’re pretty assured that the new Frank Ocean album is coming soon.