Frank Ocean has almost completely removed himself from the public eye. The occasional tumblr post will emerge or the sporadic feature or the even more sporadic track, but for the most part we don’t know what the fuck this guy has been up to (besides not dropping a follow up album).
But, like an ex-girlfriend Frank knows exactly when to reemerge on the scene. He hit us with a “hey, you up?” text in early July when he posted a library slip with all the previous release dates and “July 2016” was lingering at the bottom. So, we responded to that text, with extreme excitement, tremendous thirst and over eagerness and we all got played like a buncha herbs as July came and went.
Then in the early hours of August 1st, a video appeared, then a tweet from Apple Music appeared, followed by an anonymous source appeared quoted in the New York Times, and it seemed like maybe, just maybe this was all finally going to happen.
But do we want it to?
Anticipation is a weird thing. Ever since Channel Orange dropped, took home a Grammy, and cemented Frank Ocean as one of the artists to keep an eye on, we’ve been waiting for his follow up. We’ve been consumed by the intrigued that surrounds R&B’s openly gay, uber talented, phenomenon.
Let’s first establish something, I have been waiting, quite anxiously, for this to arrive. Channel Orange was a revolutionary piece of music for me, a staple in early college years. But, 4 years later and things may start to be shown through a different lens.
We’ve even got sad Twitter documenting the days in which an album inevitably did not drop:
— DidFrankDropAnAlbum (@didfrankdrop) August 4, 2016
When Frank announced the album was coming July 2015 that was adequate. That’s enough time to get excited, but not too much time to get burnt out. And then there was a delay. And another. And another. And now I’m terrified that no matter how good this album is it’ll be impossible for it to be good enough.
As Travon Free said on the Writer’s Room via The Ringer’s Channel 33 today, we would not give a fuck if Detox dropped today. We’ve been strung along for way too long and yeah the wait for Boys Don’t Cry isn’t over a decade in the making, but based on our short attention spans it might as well be.
The appreciation for artists taking their time on projects and avoiding the nauseating tendency to oversaturate the market certainly isn’t dead and gone (just look at how Adele operates), but it’s when you consider the how we’ve been led along, it’s been a high school crush that will eventually break your heart and that sours the process.
So, I don’t know how I feel about this project finally allegedly dropping tomorrow, but I guess it’s keeping me from finally cancelling my Apple Music subscription, so I guess that says something.
If you want to keep up with what’s going on you can watch the cryptic stream of Frank doing some carpentry work here, when I posted this story he was grinding away in a David Bowie shirt.