It’ll be Friday, they said. Apple exclusive. Frank Ocean’s long awaited follow up to ‘Channel Orange’ will be with you at the end of your working week, ready for a glorious weekend of gorging.
Well, it’s Saturday now, and there’s still no sign of ‘Boys Don’t Cry’.
However official and final that report from the New York Times sounded, it’s now at best ‘a bit off’, at worst total fantasy. Those of us still popping on to the live stream of Frank building his staircase will note he didn’t even turn up for work yesterday, leaving a half formed structure sat in the middle of the room. Maybe it’s a metaphor. Maybe he’s playing with us.
Given supposed fact has failed us, speculation reigns once more. There’s no way a huge set up like Apple Music would be involved if they didn’t know ‘a plan’. It’s safe to suggest the album is finished and delivered at this point. Whatever is going on is intentional.
We also know that the video stream we’ve been watching all week has been referred to as an “art project”. The thing about art projects is, like old episodes of Thundercats, they tend to have a message. There’s a reason Frank is building what he is – not that we’re sure what it is yet. There could also be a reason he – and Apple – are messing with our constantly shifting expectations.
The hype around ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ is huge. That’s news to nobody. In the plethora of straws left to grasp for, one especially curly candidate suggests that’s what Frank is playing with. Teaching us a lesson. Keeping it out of reach, forcing us to realise the demands we’re placing on artists with the constant requests for more music, right now, if not sooner. Perhaps when we’ve finally given up, that’s when it will arrive.
Or maybe it’s going to take him until November 13th – the final date on that library card image – to finish his staircase. At least we’ll have it by Xmas, right? Right?!