Frank Ocean is known for his unique approach to R&B and Pop music making him one of the biggest faces in the genres throughout the 2010s. He released his first album Channel Orange to critical acclaim. He took a four year hiatus and then came back to music to drop his second studio album, Blonde, accompanied by his “Endless” visual album a day prior to fulfill a label contract with Def Jam before going independent. Since the released 7 droplets on streaming in the past 5 years, none have carried into the release of a full studio project soon after. But fans speculate the last 4 singles were part of an album rollout that was put on hold.
In September of 2019, Ocean opened up about where he currently is creatively in an interview with W Magazine
“I’ve been interested in clubs, and the many different iterations of nightlife for music and songs. And so the things I look at now have a lot to do with those scenes: Detroit, Chicago, techno, house, French electronic… “
He continues to mention how his upbringing in New Orleans helped him be closest to “New Orleans bounce” since it was the closest to the nightlife scene.
“It’s so much a part of my childhood and my youth that I don’t really go back to it so much as a touch point. I’m really looking forward. It’s kind of a mix for me.”
During October 2019, Frank Ocean hosted a series of club nights in New York City called “PrEP+,” named after the HIV prevention drug of the same name. He premiered new songs that were far off from what he usually released in the past in a good way. The tracks included
- A house-inspired remix of “The Weekend” by SZA covered by Ocean himself
- An electro-hop version of his then-upcoming single, “Cayendo”
- A rap collab with Skepta titled “Little Demon” (Single released was cancelled)
The night after his first appearance at PrEP+, he released a rap single onto streams titled “DHL” produced by German electronic music producer Boyz Noize. [ He met producer Boyz Noize in Berlin through ASAP Rocky as they were working on ‘Babushka Boi’, and Frank showed up mid-session.] The following month he released a club-inspired single “In My Room”, produced by Sango (who remixed Cayendo).
Fans pointed out that both singles had unique artwork, they had 13 different silhouettes at the bottom. The main images used for DHL & In My Room were highlighted somewhere on the silhouette line, leading fans to believe these 2 singles were a part of his upcoming full length album titled “Look At Us We’re In Love”. The title was guessed based off of the header for Frank’s website during the “rollout” and a logo on the PreP+ promo poster that matched the styling of the single covers.
Frank was set to perform at Coachella 2020, where it was believed he’d finally release his album soon after but the Covid-19 Pandemic prevented this. He rescheduled for 2023 anyways. Later during the year, Frank also tragically lost his younger brother. Through all these events, fans expected another push back for new Frank material coming anytime soon.
Since then he hasn’t released any new material or been active on social media that much until he returned with the opening of his luxury jewelry brand, “Homer”. It was also revealed through a source that he’s trying to pick a label for the release of his next project. According to HITS Daily Double, Frank could be shopping a brand new album and has reportedly been meeting with and playing the new record for label executives. The list of industry players he’s been in contact with remains under wraps, but HDD does point out that Ocean has been doing “his best to avoid doing business with the majors” since dropping channel ORANGE in 2012.
It’s possible Frank’s doing this to help market his album to a new audience as best as possible considering he’s stepping away from his typical R&B/Pop Sound in the past.