frank ocean library card.jpg

Remember the library slip he posted on his website? Remember how the final date was July 2016, and everyone got really pumped? Well, look a little closer: buried among the prior dates is the mysterious future date of November 13, 2016. Why would he include this date if the album was dropping in July? I don’t think he’s teasing an outtake EP. Boys Don’t Cry, the long-awaited second album from Frank Ocean, is probably going to drop November 13, 2016.

“But what about all those news outlets saying it would be out on Friday on Apple Music?” you might be wondering. This development was first disclosed to The New York Times by “a person with knowledge of the release plans” — probably either a troll or a label goon who’s a few steps behind Frank. Neither Frank nor his label Def Jam have commented on the matter. The only thing we’ve seen from the actual artist is that library slip, and it says November 13, 2016.

Something is definitely about to happen. We haven’t seen this much activity from Frank in years. We have a (pretty sketchy) tracklist and some instrumentals — neither final by any means — to keep us sated. That live stream is still going on, and it’s still really boring. He’s probably gearing up to release a single, which would actually be a smart decision seeing as 1) it’d drive the anticipation to breaking point without pissing people off any more and 2) we need something, anything, to convince us that this thing is real and coming out within our lifetimes before we stop caring.

It’s easy to assume Frank will just pull a Beyoncé and drop the whole thing at once because that’s usually what happens these days with these endlessly teased mega-releases. But maybe not. Maybe Frank, by all accounts a literary and thoughtful dude, will want to see what the critics will have to say with more than 48 hours to listen to it and shit out a thousand words. And, if the almost comically conventional rollout for the last Avalanches album was any indication, the old-school, single-focused album promo campaign is making something of a comeback.

All of this, of course, doesn’t make the whole affair any less frustrating. Anything could happen between now and November. He could scrap everything and replace it with something worse. He could scrap the name Boys Don’t Cry — a stellar name for an album, especially if it’s gonna sound anything like what I think it’ll sound like – and replace it with something stupid. (Seriously, So Help Me God would have been such a better name for The Life Of Pablo). And given his current track record, it’s not unlikely November 13, 2016 will go by with nary a peep from Frank. But fans can take comfort in knowing they don’t have to get really pissed-off until then.