Frank Ocean and a new album release date in November? Fans hopes for the release of Boys Don't Cry, one of the year's most highly anticipated albums, were raised and then dashed this week and they vented their frustrations on social media with a creative flair. Boys Don't Cry will be the follow up to channel ORANGE, his hugely successful Grammy-winning 2012 release.
Frank Ocean And The August 5 RumorOn Monday, August 1, the New York Times ran a piece with the overly confident title, "Frank Ocean's Long-Awaited 'Boys Don't Cry' Is Due on Friday" – although the venerable publication did hedge its bets by acknowledging that, after so many delays, further extensions were still possible.
The article cited a source that was said to have knowledge of the release plans, adding that the album would be accompanied by a video and book with the same title as the release. Boys Don't Cry would reportedly be available as an exclusive on Apple Music for two weeks before a wider release.
While there was no official word from Frank Ocean, Apple or his label, a video that showed up on his website led fans to believe the story. The video followed him for hours as he worked on building what looked like a carpentry project in an otherwise empty room. Eager fans took it as encouraging sign, given the week's headlines. The Apple connection came via an Apple Music logo that appeared as a watermark in the video. But, as an Atlantic piece pointed out, the video may also have been an indication of work in progress.
When the release didn't happen, fans were disappointed – to say the least. MTV is calling it a "Frank Ocean-induced Emotional Riptide of Despair" and fans have taken to social media to express their disappointment, and in some cases, even anger.
Frank Ocean And The Long Tease To 'Boys Don't Cry'The wait for Boys Don't Cry has been one long tease for fans eager for more of Frank Ocean's compelling blend of RnB, gritty realism, and romantic nostalgia.
In the spring of 2015, Frank's Tumblr account featured a picture of Ocean sitting next to stacks of magazines. One featured a cover with the headline, "Boys Don't Cry" and the caption "#ISSUE 1 #ALBUM 3 #JULY2015 #BOYSDONTCRYMAGAZINE."When July, 2015, came and went with no mention of the Frank Ocean release, fans began their social media campaign of hurt and disappointment. Despite public assurances from his producer and friends like Chance the Rapper, there was no word from Frank himself.
Back in July of this year, Frank Ocean's website sported an image of a library card with a "due date" stamp that read "July 2016," along with a number of other dates that were crossed out, seeming to refer to the album's many delays. When July came and went, fans noticed "Aug 5 2016," which seemed to corroborate the New York Times story.
Frank Ocean And 'Boys Don't Cry' – A November Release? Or Just Another Tease?Now that August 5 has also passed without Boys Don't Cry, fans and the media have noticed that the library card also contains a stamp that reads "Nov 13 2016." Fans as well as the media have seized on the November 13 date as the new, "real" release date, with reports circulating in the New York Daily News, among many other media outlets. The truth of the matter is, no one except Frank Ocean knows when Boys Don't Cry will be released, and it seems like Frank likes it that way.
A piece in the Atlantic compares Frank Ocean to Harper Lee, the famously reclusive author of To Kill a Mockingbird. While his public appearances are few and far between and his social media presence limited to infrequent posts on isolated events like Prince's death and the Orlando nightclub shooting, Frank Ocean has been keeping himself busy with a guest spot on Kanye West's The Life of Pablo and sharing writing credits with James Blake on his latest release.
As far as his own work is concerned, fans have had to make do with a cover of At Your Best (You Are Love) in 2015 and a song called Memrise that he posted to his Tumblr account in 2014.
Will fans still be waiting until November – and what if November 13 is yet another false alarm? Only time, Frank Ocean, and the quality of Boys Don't Cry whenever it is eventually released, will tell.
[Image by Karl Walter/Getty Images]