Kanye West's Famous, Shia Laboeuf's #AllMyMovies and now, Frank Ocean's Endless . What do these things have in common? They are all mysterious pieces of voyeuristic art, each relating directly to the artist themselves while presenting their current projects in a new format. I'm here to talk about Endless, and why this might be the most intriguing of any and all mystery celeb projects. Appearing on Ocean's website, Boys Don't Cry (also the title of his upcoming album), a live streaming video titled Endless dropped overnight. In swift fashion, the Ocean fandom was set ablaze, with another collective "What is he doing now?" panic attack ensuing. Was this a new music video? Was Ocean about to drop Boys Don't Cry immediately after the video finished airing? Is Ocean still trolling us by showing some nonsensical live stream? The pain, the anxiety, the intrigue.
All theories aside, what makes Endless so fascinating to me is the music that has been intermittently scoring the action on the live stream. There are no captured clips of it to source, unfortunately. If you've been dutifully tuned in from the start, you may know what I'm referring to. Cut with sounds of saws and metal clanking, a few instrumental tracked cycled through the feed in the early afternoon on August 1. The music appears to be non-diagetic, haunting the room where the Ocean-esque figure is working, resting and contemplating. At the time of publication, the music has been gone from the livestream for a few hours. Is this the music which is inspiring Ocean to write new music of his own? Are they his own creations?
The way things are going, Boys Don't Cry may echo The Life of Pablo as a constantly evolving musical project. Endless could be serving as a listening party of sorts.
While Endless feels like a roundabout way for Ocean to telegraph to the public that they need to be patient a little while longer (a mighty message to a crowd that's already been waiting literal years), the enigma of the live stream is bolstered by this music. It's unlike anything we've heard from Ocean off previous albums. Flowing, otherworldly, almost a bit shoegaze-y in its sound, this could be what we can expect from Boys Don't Cry. At least, that's what I sincerely hope is happening in Endless. Otherwise, what's the damn point of it all?
What's arguably most frustrating is the fact that Ocean has not given a concrete statement as to what's actually going on. Rather, he's taking the elusive route, which means his fans are left regularly wondering whether they should keep waiting for Boys Don't Cry or move on with their lives. Will we ever really know what is going on inside the mind of Frank Ocean?