Intro for August 8, 2016
A week ago today The New York Times reported that Frank Ocean’s long-awaited album, the follow-up to his acclaimed Channel Orange, would finally be released on Friday. The New York Times is a pretty f-cking legit source. But Friday came and went – no album. People now believe, based on his library card, that Boys Don’t Cry will be coming in November. And a lot of people have a lot of feelings about whether or not the November date will come and go and just when Frank will be ready to bless us with his next Pink Matter. Even Adele has feelings about when Frank will be ready to bless us with his next Pyramids, as she told Rolling Stone last year that, "I'm just f-cking waiting for Frank f-cking Ocean to come out with his album," she says. "It's taking so f-cking long." She blinks, pauses, laughs again. "That sounds so stupid, coming from me, doesn't it?"
It doesn’t sound stupid. Partly it’s because he’s given us so many hints, opening the door for a second before slamming it closed again, (or leaving the camera running for hours while he mysteriously works on some wood), keeping us curious, keeping us hungry. And partly it’s because, well, there are so few artists who keep their own sweet time these days, resisting the urge to be rushed and, arguably, the urge to be out there in the world, participating and being celebrated.
Which is why the most interesting article I read this weekend was Frank Ocean, Harper Lee and the Reclusive Artist, a comparison between the two artists. “How do we maintain an earnest interest in and desire for art we love, while respecting the autonomy of the person who creates it and the fact that creating anything at all is the most excruciating of human endeavors?”
And that piece reminded me of another piece I read the week before, which is about Drake. If Frank Ocean is sparing and withholding, Drake would be the exact opposite. Eve L Ewing compared Frank to Harper Lee. Nico Lang compares Drake to the Beatles, arguing that Drake’s seemingly limitless artistic output the last couple of years is approaching overexposure, something the Beatles flirted with in 1964 when they released 9 LPs and EPs in one year. As much as I enjoy Drake, it does feel like a week can’t go by without him telling us that there’s yet another new song, non?
But, like, is that ungrateful? Drake goes to work, a lot. And he works hard. And then he shares that work when he’s done. And then he keeps working. That shouldn’t be a problem, should it? What’s the Three Bears answer to a “just right” balance in releasing new material?
Yours in gossip,