Frank Ocean appears to be making up for lost time after several pump fakes and false starts regarding the release of his sophomore album. The R&B crooner and songwriter made fans extremely happy with the release of his surprise Endless visual album and now all can rejoice with the release of his official follow-up LP, Blonde.
As reported by Rolling Stone, Ocean debuted Blonde Saturday (Aug. 20) via a series of pop-up shops across Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. The publication notes that the LP features lead single “Nikes” and spotted an Andre 3000 sighting on the “Solo (Reprise)” track.
The album is also an Apple Music exclusive and will only be available via that outlet for the next two weeks and streaming via Beats 1 Radio. Also, the release of the new project came with the publication of a Boys Don’t Cry magazine as part of the many perks given to fans lucky enough to snag invites to the pop-ups.
More from Rolling Stone:
In New York, the pop-up took over a magazine shop on the corner of Mulberry and Kenmare, with dozens of issues of Boys Don’t Cry inside glossy packaging arranged on the store’s racks. Fans who visited the pop-up shops, which blared Ocean’s music over the Sonos speakers, were given a free copy of Boys Don’t Cry, which contained a CD copy of Blonde within.
The 360-page Boys Don’t Cry contains interviews with Ocean’s mom and Lil B alongside larger glossy pics taken by Ocean. Among the written portions are a multi-scene screenplay also written by Ocean, horoscopes and a “hopes and dreams” segment where several young men answer questions like “What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever witnessed?” and “What three superpowers do you wish you had?”
Word of the album’s impending release first surfaced in late July in The New York Times, not long after an Apple Music-hosted live stream video appeared on Ocean’s website, boysdontcry.co. In July, the singer-songwriter hinted that the LP was on its way when he posted a picture of a library book slip showing a range of potential “due dates.” Ocean updated his website with a video featuring a hall with a pair of workbenches; a 45-minute version of this video served as the basis of Endless, which featured Ocean constructing a spiral staircase.
Ocean, who enjoys one of the most rabid fanbases ever, has been feeding those fans well these past couple of days and the reaction has been robust as expected. Of course there’s the typical hyperbole but there’s also genuine gratitude for those who waited long in the trenches for the release.
With all this new material available, just imagine what Ocean left on the cutting room floor. Hmm. Follow some of the conversation here.