Welp, like Britney Spears before him, it appears that Frank Ocean has done it again. The New York Times reported that Ocean would release his new album Boys Don't Cry on Friday, Aug. 5 exclusively for Apple Music. However, if you woke up anticipating that a new album would be waiting for you, you were sorely disappointed to discover that Ocean did not release any new music on the fateful August morning. And if you're experiencing déjà vu, you should be, because this is far from the first time this has happened to Ocean fans.
The history surrounding the release date of Boys Don't Cry is a long and sordid tale starting back in 2012, and anyone who has followed it should have known not to get his or her hopes up for Aug. 5. From Ocean vaguely posting that the album would be out in July 2015 to completely disreputable sources stating Boys Don't Cry would be out in June 2016, fans have learned the hard way that until you actually hear new music from Ocean, you should maintain your skepticism.
And the artist appears to be in on the cruel joke. Ocean's website was updated on July 2 to show a photo of a library card with "Date Due" labeled at the top. A slew of dates are on the card with the final stamp being "July 2016." The specific date was smudged out — just to add to the mysterious hype — but this seemed to be a pretty clear indicator that Boys Don't Cry would be out sometime in the month of July. Alas, July came and went and fans still had miraculous faith that The New York Times report about Aug. 5 would be correct. Unfortunately, they found out quickly that was not the case.
Why exactly Ocean hasn't released his new album isn't clear. Perhaps the live stream on Ocean's website (his latest stunt) means that Boys Don't Cry will be a visual album like Beyoncé's Lemonade. I could see that taking more time than your standard album, but it still doesn't explain all of the misleading information about the release date. While I understand that some fans are impatient for new music since he hasn't released an official studio album since Channel Orange, I'm less concerned with him taking his time and more concerned with the games. Dropping an album is an artistic process, so I'm not about having him rush it, but why does he have to continuously toy with fans' emotions?
Yes, Ocean can't be blamed for The New York Times report, but he certainly can be blamed for what's going down on his website and because of that, I believe this is all part of his plan. Ocean is a more private musician than most with his Snapchat not seeing much activity and his Tumblr being one of the rare places to find insights from Ocean (though very sporadically). Keeping that in mind, Ocean could be seeing how the public reacts on social media to all of this disinformation. And if that's the case, then he certainly won't be let down by fans' outraged — and often hilarious — reactions on Twitter.
As you eagerly await the release of "Boy's Don't Cry" — or any new music from Ocean for that matter — I recommend not believing information not formally confirmed by Ocean (non-specific posts don't count!) or his reps. In the meantime, head over to Ocean's website to watch his live streaming video or use Snapchat's Ocean-themed filters. Neither will provide any real source of comfort as of now (I'm irrationally holding out hope that the live stream will show me something — anything — about the album), but it will keep you occupied as you continue on this long journey waiting for Ocean.