Now Hear This: Frank Ocean’s ‘Blond’

[Photo: Apple Music]

At long last, Frank Ocean’s follow-up to 2012’s Channel Orange has arrived. The project felt like it landed after several false starts, including toying with album titles. Fans of Frank Ocean were originally teased with the title Boys Don’t Cry, which was supposed to live as both an album and a magazine. It’s still a magazine that debuted in tandem with Frank’s project, but good luck getting your hands on a copy yet, as it was only secretly distributed a few low key pop-up shops in select cities. Currently, the magazine is sitting on eBay for thousands of dollars. Of course, the album release had to be an event, given the wait period.

First, a surprise visual project titled Endless dropped on Apple Music, where Frank constructed a huge stairwell to the sky by hand in the video, as a long string of songs played throughout—one ironically discussing being tethered to digital technology. Then, Blonde (or blond, depending on who you ask or what you’re looking at) followed.

Blonde is a journey into Frank Ocean’s psyche, where he delves into his feelings similarly to his work on his previous project, but only more confidently this time around. He’s helped by an A-list cast, as Pharrell Williams and Tyler, The Creator lend their production to “Pink + White,” a track with background vocals that some speculate are either from Beyoncé or Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors (still a mystery). Kendrick Lamar is woven into “Skyline To,” and Andre3000 takes the rap by its bars for a thinly veiled sort of diss rant titled “Solo (Reprise).” Sure, Blonde may have you all in your feels for a bit, but as gents who aren’t afraid to emote, this one belongs in heavy rotation as we bid adieu to Summer and warmly welcome the Fall.


1. Nikes
2. Ivy
3. Pink + White
4. Be Yourself
5. Solo
6. Skyline To
7. Self Control
8. Good Guy
9. Nights
10. Solo (Reprise)
11. Pretty Sweet
12. Facebook Story
13. Close to You
14. White Ferrari
15. Seigfried
16. Godspeed
17. Futura Free

Blonde is available now on iTunes and Apple Music.