Those who follow the music industry, specifically the hip-hop scene, knows that Frank Ocean’s new album is one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Unfortunately, it was also one of the most anticipated albums of last year as well. Ocean’s last album Channel Orange, an LP he released in 2012, received glowing reviews from both critics and consumers alike.
Scheduled to be released July 17, 2015, Ocean’s first album was released a week early on i-Tunes, in mid-summer, though the fact that it was an i-Tunes-only release was highly upsetting for some consumers and retail companies. Target even decided to boycott the album and refused to sell it because of the early release, though there was speculation that they boycotted the album due to Ocean’s sexuality, which was announced, via Tumblr, right after the album’s release. Despite the obstacles, the album did not seem to lose any momentum in sales.
Channel Orange sold over 131,000 albums in its first week, vastly overshooting its projected sales of 40,000 for its premiere. The album placed at no. 1 on the R&B and hip-hop charts.
The album went on to receive much critical acclaim, even going so far as to win a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary album. Ocean was even scheduled to perform at the awards show and the album, which had sold over 500,000 copies before his performance at the Grammy’s, went on to sell over 100,000 more copies.
Ocean managed to amass a huge following with his first album, thus, the anticipation for his second album has been high. When the artist first announced his second LP, titled, Boys Don’t Cry, was going to be released in July of 2015, the R&B and hip-hop community all heaved a sigh of relief. Rumors had run rampant within the social media community that Ocean’s hiatus might be the result of his coming out, something that is rarely seen or heard of within the hip-hop community. However, once July came and went fans were asking what would become of the announced project, especially since the artist had been teasing fans with the details since 2013.
Ocean originally announced the album release date himself via Tumblr, saying he had “two versions” of the album, giving both the title and release date in the post. July passed without any album and then in the following month, his younger brother posted a link online to his Instagram with a link to the supposed album, though this was of course a fake. It had seemed that Ocean had disappeared completely until he appeared on Kanye West’s most recent album, The Life of Pablo. This of course sparked more rumors of when Ocean’s LP would be out.
Recently, his producer made a statement, saying that the album could be out at any time, “It could be tomorrow…. well not tomorrow, but maybe a month.” He accredits the long wait to Ocean having a completely different process for this album because he is trying to create a completely different sound, something more stripped down and bare, “Frank’s exploring different vibes completely on this album.”
Fans can only hope that this time Ocean’s album is actually released and that he can continue to be an inspiration to those within both the musical and the homosexual community.
By Gabrielle Smith
HipHopWired: Frank Ocean’s Channel ORANGE is Certified Gold
Billboard: Chart Juice: Frank Ocean Earns First No. 1 On R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
The Grammy’s: And The GRAMMY Went To … Frank Ocean
MTV: FRANK OCEAN’S ALBUM COULD BE READY IN ‘MAYBE A MONTH,’ ACCORDING TO HIS PRODUCER
FuseTV: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO FRANK OCEAN’S UPCOMING SECOND ALBUM
Image Courtesy of david_hwang’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License