Worth The Wait

Frank Ocean releases his second album after four years of hiatus


Ilya S Savenok/Getty Images

In July 2012, Frank Ocean posted a heartfelt note on his Tumblr that shook the media just days before the release of his first studio album Channel Orange. The note explained the inspiration for his new album — Channel Orange — was about the summer he fell in love with a man and came to terms with his sexuality.

“Orange reminds me of the first summer I fell in love. Awww…” Ocean wrote.

Frank Ocean is an R&B artist who started as a ghostwriter for notable artists such as John Legend, Justin Bieber, and Beyonce. In 2011 he dropped his first mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra which began to shed light on his career. In 2012, Ocean’s first album Channel Orange debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and sold more than 131,000 copies in its first week. Ocean was also nominated for six Grammy Awards that year.

As 2013 rolled around, Ocean seemed to be unstoppable. He was in the eye of the press for of his outstanding success and his sincere bravery for coming out in the rap and R&B industry. In February 2013, he revealed details of his sequel album to a BBC Radio host. In the summer of 2014, he toured for 14-days in Europe.

For the next year, Ocean left fans puzzled and intrigued by dropping hints and snippets of his next album. Many artists, such as Beyonce, Lil B, and Diplo, posted pictures of Ocean in the studio appearing to be working on the album, but no date had been set for release.

In April 2015, Ocean sparked the internet by posting a picture of himself gazing at two magazines, one of which was titled “Boys Don’t Cry”. The image was captioned: “I got two versions. “I got twoooo versions,” followed by the hashtags “#ISSUE1 #ALBUM3 #JULY2015 #BOYSDONTCRY”.

Could it be true?? Ocean’s album finally has an official release date? Think again, because one thing Ocean is experienced at is deceiving his audience. July came and went and there was still no album to be found from Ocean.

Ocean broke his 10-month silence in February 2016 when he appeared to support Kanye West at his “The Life of Pablo” album listening event. A few days later, West’s album was released with two songs featuring Ocean: “Wolves” and “Frank’s Track”.

This July, Ocean updated his website with a graphic of a library card stamped with a series of dates beginning in July 2015 and ending with November 13th, 2016.

Between August 1 and August 5, the Boys Don’t Cry website was overtaken by a mysterious livestream featuring Ocean in a black hoodie building objects as random instruments played in the background. Various sources, including The New York Times, confirmed Ocean’s album would be released Friday, August 5. However, Ocean once again left fans very disappointed when he didn’t drop the album August 5.

Two weeks later, on August 18, Apple Music released “Endless,” a 45 minute visual album by Ocean. The video features 18 psychedelic mid tempo songs and interludes, played over the footage of Ocean building a staircase. The footage is the same that played during the livestream that aired the first week of August, but this time with full songs that will break your heart and put it back together. The significance of this staircase is still unclear. Many believe it symbolizes all the effort Ocean has put into the album and each individual song — effort that can be heard upon listening to all the dedication put into the album’s captivating lyrics and heavenly sounds.

Two days later, the internet blew up when Ocean released “Blonde,” an album consisting of 17 completely new tracks. “Blonde” wraps together every step of love from being strangers to lovers to strangers again.

Frank Ocean trended internationally on Twitter for 24 hours the day of the release. Snapchat showcased the album with “Blonde” themed filters all weekend long. Blonde has sold 131,000 copies in its first week so far and is already No. 1 on  the Billboard 200.  All the anticipation over the four years has quickly lead to another smash hit album for Frank Ocean.