By Angel Santana
Waiting for the new Frank Ocean album is like waiting for Halley’s Comet: It takes forever for it to appear. At least Halley’s Comet is easy to predict. Ocean has constantly let fans down in the past, leaving everyone feeling sorrowful and anxious. As an album release date comes and goes, the Internet gets more annoyed.
It’s been more than four years since Ocean released an album. Think about it. In the last four years, Kim Kardashian has gotten married twice and had two kids, Prince and Muhammad Ali passed away, and Donald Trump has become the Republican nominee. With all of these events happening, it’s been more than enough time for Frank Ocean to complete an album.
The album was supposed to come out sometime in July 2015. As the date passed, no album was released and it seemed as if Ocean no longer existed. He came back in the public consciousness when he briefly appeared on Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo,” which was released in February. Then in July, Ocean’s website released an interesting image: a library due-date slip that has several dates beginning with the promised July 2015 release and ending with Nov. 13, 2016. Many interpreted a date for July 2016 that had the day scratched out as the release date, while others expect the album to drop in November. As soon as July passed, a strange live-stream occurred. Hosted by Apple Music, Ocean appeared to be cutting wood in the livestream. Great. Later that day, the album had a release date for Aug. 5. As of press time, there is still no new music.
So why is Ocean delaying his album? Why does he keep his fans in agony and despair as they wait for the promised release? There’s only one reason: publicity. The hype behind this album is intense and only grows as a release date passes. Fans have been posting the most outrageous things on social media. Countless memes have been made about Ocean’s actions, showing fans’ disappointment. One fan suggested kidnapping his brother for ransom until Ocean releases the album.
It might seem crazy, but the fans are the ones that fuel the album’s hype. Fans like the ones trying to kidnap Ocean’s little brother are the ones that bring attention to the artist. People who haven’t heard his music will be wondering what’s so amazing about him. Perhaps Ocean is delaying his album to grab the attention of new listeners so that when he drops the album, he will have a larger following.
That’s what happened to me. A few months ago, I was wondering why everyone was going crazy over Ocean. Everyone was constantly talking about how good his music is and how unfair it was that he hasn’t released a new album. So I decided to listen to his last album, “Channel Orange,” and I instantly fell in love. Ocean offered a new type of music that I never knew I wanted. His voice was smooth and soothing, yet it kept me awake. He distinguished himself from other singers by giving his music electronic elements. Also, the length of “Pyramid” was surprising, considering a song isn’t normally 10 minutes, yet it kept me interested the entire time. I was soon a part of Ocean’s fan base, waiting for his next album with millions of other fans.
Who knows when the album will come out? Though the library slip’s latest date is Nov. 13, there’s another rumor that the album will be released in the next few days. Whenever it drops, the publicity around the album and Ocean’s talent are sure to make it an immediate success.