The library due date card says it all. Stamped several times over with prospective due dates, the image Frank Ocean uploaded to his Boys Don’t Cry website late Friday night was the latest tease from the low-key artist, who has largely been out of the public eye since he released his last album, 2012’s great channel ORANGE. Dates are scratched out, stamped over, hinting at all the false starts and premature proclamations that have enveloped the album’s release. The last date on the card is July 2016, with the exact date smudged out. Elsewhere, in the middle of the card is the only date out of order, November 13, 2016.
It’s become something of a national pastime to predict when and where Frank Ocean will finally unload Boys Don’t Cry. It’s been suspected of being released pretty much every month since last July, and the intensity of the anticipation is only growing stronger. That’s why a library due date card became the biggest music news story on a Saturday in early July. Frank Ocean has mastered the build-up of the album release, forgoing any obnoxious, overbearing prerelease hype and letting fans’ own thirst for new material be the thing that drives the hype. That being said, Frank Ocean has to release his album sometime, right? Here are some likely dates, and ones he should at least consider, for the release of Boys Don’t Cry:
July 4, 2016
Would there be a better way to celebrate American independence (just not on oil) than with a new Frank Ocean album? I think not. Whether Ocean wants to co-opt the national holiday and become the story of the holiday weekend is up for debate. With absolutely nothing to base this off of, I’m wagering he’ll wait for a less busy time to unveil Boys Don’t Cry.
July 15-22, 2016
The last date on the library card appears to be a double-digit number, with the two most likely Fridays for release being the 15th and the 22nd. And it’s totally possible he would attempt something similar to what Dev Hynes just did with Freetown Sound and release his album earlier in the week than the designated Friday release schedule. July 10 will mark the four year anniversary of channel ORANGE‘s release, so don’t count out the 10th – next Sunday – as Boys Don’t Cry‘s landing date, either.
November 13, 2016
That’s the one date not in chronological order on the list, which has led some (including yours truly) to think he’ll wait until late Fall to release his channel ORANGE follow-up. There’s really nothing else to base this prediction on, but I don’t think there’s anything Ocean would do at this point that unintentionally. Plus, with that being a few days after the national election, we might need the therapy that is a new Frank Ocean album to cope with American beginning the process of being made great again.
July 10, 2022
If the calendar turns to 2017 with no trace of Boys Don’t Cry, I say hold out for the 10-year anniversary of that great debut. By that time, Ocean’s legacy would be sealed, a magnificent one album run and the mystique of what could have been. Making the fans wait, a la D’Angelo with Black Messiah, would be pure torture for the next six years, but pure bliss when the time came. And plus, who doesn’t love a comeback?
Listen to “Novacane” while you (im)patiently wait for Boys Don’t Cry: