Frank Ocean’s highly anticipated (that’s the understatement of the century) sophomore album, Blonde, dropped last week, and everyone loves it. Of course we do! He kept us waiting for so long, fans were just thrilled to have new music from him. The next big event in music is the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 28, and Ocean will surely still be on everyone's minds. But will these two huge musical occurrences collide? Could Blonde win anything at the 2016 VMAs? Unfortunately, it looks like Mr. Ocean will have to wait until next year.
Awards shows usually designate an eligibility time period that ends just before nominations, and depending on the type of awards show, any albums, videos, films, or television programs that are released in that time can be nominated for that year’s awards. For instance, if the Grammy nomination calendar runs from March of a year to February of the following year and Beyoncé released Lemonade in April, she is eligible for that year’s awards. When I tried to find MTV’s exact schedule and information on how their nominations work, I was hit with a whole lot of nothing. MTV is tight-lipped about the VMA voting process, and seems to be similarly quiet about nominations.
However, the exact calendar doesn't matter too much in the case of Blonde, because VMA nominations were announced on July 26, nearly a month before Ocean's album was released. The album couldn't exactly be retroactively nominated, so Ocean won't be getting any moonman trophies on Sunday night.
With that in mind, it's likely that Ocean will be eligible for nominations for the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards because his album was released too late for it to be considered for 2016. I mean, Blonde and the video for “Nikes,” which is the only video released so far from the album, only came out two weeks before the 2016 VMAs were set to be given away. Maybe Kanye West will come up on stage on Sunday and interrupt someone to say that Ocean should have been nominated, but he would be wrong. Instead, he should wait until next year, because I’m sure that Blonde will receive plenty of nominations then.
And just some advice next year for voting when Blonde is actually up for some awards? According to MTV, any user can vote for a Video Music Award from the time the nominations are given until a date that they choose before the show. You basically can vote for anything except for what MTV dubs the “professional” awards, like cinematography and visual effects. So if you want Ocean or anyone else to win Video of the Year, Best Hip-Hop Video, Best Collaboration, etc., you can jump onto MTV.com next summer and take fate into your own hands.