It’s been nearly two weeks since Frank Ocean, a notoriously mysterious hip-hop artist, revealed plans to release his second studio album, “Boys Don’t Cry.” A livestream appeared on his website, leading fans to believed that after years of waiting for new music from the Grammy award winner, the project was really on its way. Hundreds of thousands glued themselves to the livestream and yet Ocean’s album remains unreleased — but why?
According to producer Malay Ho, who worked with the “Novacane” singer on “Channel Orange,” Ocean is caught up in the creative process. The 37-year-old recently participated in a Reddit AMA, during which he was asked about “Boys Don’t Cry.” He suggested that fans stop sweating the exact release date and understand that Ocean, 28, is an artist. Ho said that the reclusive recording artist is tweaking “Boys Don’t Cry,” ensuring that it’s got “the perfect aesthetic.”
“First of all we all massively appreciate and love you guys, Frank has told me this himself many times,” Ho said. “To be fair, art cannot be rushed. It’s about making sure the perfect aesthetic for the situation has been reached, to do that, takes constant tweaking, trial and error...That goes for any creative [situation].”
With so much uncertainty surrounding Ocean’s album release and so much hype, tech savvy app creators have found a way to capitalize. According to Vulture, a new app called (650)82OCEAN will alert fans if and when “Boys Don’t Cry” is released. The app, created by UC Davis student Shahzeb Khan, is designed to search Spotify, iTunes and Twitter for anything and everything related to Ocean and, according to its developers, “the second it detects that a new album has gone live,” users receive a text message or email alert along with a link to where the project can be purchased. (650)82OCEAN is currently free, but users can donate $2 if they so choose.
On Aug. 1 — more than one year after Ocean announced that “Boys Don’t Cry” would be released in July 2016 — a livestream from what appeared to be a large warehouse appeared on the musician’s website. As was pointed out by Pitchfork, when the livestream first surfaced the room was empty save for several power tools. In time, a large boom box — created by artist Tom Sachs — appeared in the room. Music played from the device, though none of it appeared to be Ocean’s. A figure believed to be Ocean surfaced in the video a number of times, cutting wood and building several small structures which are now sitting in the middle of the room. Days passed and, without so much as a message from Ocean, “Boys Don’t Cry” was never released.
This behavior is not unusual from Ocean. “Boys Don’t Cry” has had several release dates — a fact Ocean poked fun at on his website. Below the on-going livestream is a due date card, stamped with several dates ranging from July 2015 to November 2016.