Somehow, a huge rumor was widely accepted as truth, anticipated, and ultimately proven as false, but it doesn’t appear the damage is detrimental. I’m talking about Frank Ocean, and his non album release of “Boys Don’t Cry.” If you’re not up to speed here are the cliff notes.
Frank Ocean made waves with Nostalgia, Ultra, which most including myself loved, in 2011. Released his first studio album in 2012 Channel Orange, and has been a deadbeat daddy to his fans ever since. There have been prior faux announcements regarding his next album which may or may not be “Boys Don’t Cry.” But for some reason this latest allegation held strong. With a loop of Ocean on his website somehow someway “album being released next friday” was the takeaway, and everyone was with it. But surprise or maybe not so much Friday came and went but no offering from Mr. Ocean…no call no show. I’m sure people were outraged, disappointed, but had they had enough? I’m not sure. While I’m not a super fanatic of Frank, I like him, and if he offers something I listen to it. So while I wasn’t heartbroken I was still offended. Can artists treat fans this way and expect them to support them?
That’s what I want to know.
Has there been a dynamic between artists and fans? I don’t know. Of course, there are recluses. The Sade’s who deliver every decade sometimes longer. The 3 Stacks who don’t make music, but exist in a love space no man can put asunder. Oh wait, there is Jay Electronica. The serial heartbreaker. Here’s the thing. I think because Jay Elec has had us hanging so long, if and when he delivers music it would have to be near flawless for it not to leave a bad taste in most people’s mouths. I fret that is the territory Mr. Ocean is treading to. I understand an artist’s desire to make the conditions just right for their creation. I truly do, but if you don’t produce the love will wilt. We may love them but it’s just not the same.
It may be possible that we live in a time where we have become accustomed to so much from our “stars” that the presentation of a star who wants to stay out of the flashing lights seems counter to the culture. While that may be true, I don’t think that is the situation with Mr. Ocean. It’s one thing to be a recluse, it’s quite another to let your fans fly blindly and excitedly to expectation and be left abandoned.
It is also possible the fans took an artistic offering from Frank and projected all their hopes and desires into an album release date. Now, should Frank have to answer to that? Nah. He doesn’t have to speak to misinformation because from his vantage point he may only make art for himself and we are just fortunate enough to witness. It may not be for us. It very well may be for him. So the inaccurate information is collateral damage.
In reflection, that seems way more logical.