Three years after the release of his critically acclaimed debut “Channel Orange,” R&B singer-songwriter and rapper Frank Ocean (real name Christopher Edwin Breaux) is set to return with a new album, which he affirmed on Tumblr Monday, April 6. 27-year-old Ocean posted a photo of himself looking down at two stacks of magazines called Boys Don’t Cry with the caption, “I got two versions. I got twoooo versions.” He also included the hashtags #ISSUE1 #ALBUM3 #JULY2015 #BOYSDONTCRY on the post that’s on his official website’s front page. The mysterious, and somewhat cryptic picture got fans questioning exactly what Ocean has up his sleeve for the near future. A rep confirmed to Billboard that both a new publication by Ocean and the new album are coming in July. There’s no title for either project just yet. Ocean started working on his sophomore album back in February 2013, stating that it would be another concept album. He later added that he was being influenced by The Beach Boys and The Beatles, and that part of the album would be recorded in Bora Bora. On November 29, 2014, Ocean released a snippet of a new track called “Memrise” on his official Tumblr page. The Guardian described the song as: “…a song which affirms that despite reportedly changing labels and management, he has maintained both his experimentation and sense of melancholy in the intervening years…” It remains to be seen if “Memrise” will be on the new album.
Collaborator Nabil Elderkin previously revealed to the press that Ocean’s next album “blows the sophomore-album myth out of the water,” with the singer reportedly hitting the studio with artists and mega-producers like: Hit-Boy (“Niggas in Paris,” “XO,” “Flawless”), Rodney Jerkins, Happy Perez, Charlie Gambetta, Kevin Ristro, Pharrell Williams and Danger Mouse. In January, Ocean dropped his cover of the Isley Brothers’ “At Your Best (You Are Love),” a touching tribute to fallen R&B songstress Aaliyah on what would have been her 36th birthday. He parted ways with his management team earlier in the year, signing up with Hollywood agency ID PR. James Blake has announced that he’ll be doing a short tour around the United Kingdom and that Ocean will be his guest on three dates: April 9, 10, and 12. “Channel Orange” won Best Urban Contemporary Album and was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2013 Grammys, where Ocean performed “Forrest Gump.” He also made guest appearances on Jay Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” John Mayer’s “Paradise Valley,” and Beyoncé’s “Beyoncé.”
by Farren Washington