Mark October and November in the archives, Frank Ocean dropped two singles in consecutive months. Frank teased “DHL” on his Instagram story in December last year, so eleven months is about the expected turnaround for him to release the project. Frank uses slow dreamy synth chords and cryptic lyrics to tell a heartbreaking story of unrequited love. He collabed with Boyz Noise to complete the track.
Frank took us all by surprise when he followed up with “In my room” this month. On this track, Frank raps on a fast-paced, repetitive beat before it changes about three-quarters through. He switches back to his melodic vocals, and harmonizes his shadowy voice with the ambient synth, and resonates like whispering strobe lights. He usually releases one single a year, so fans were grateful, but possibly underwhelmed by these songs. “In my Room” stayed at eighty-five on the Billboard 100 this week, while “DHL” is off the list after debuting at ninety-eight.
Frank has talked about how night clubs and city life are influencing his creative vision, and he (attempted) to translate those influences in his secretive unveiling of his new club, Prep+. The club debuted with the purpose of reimagining the ‘80s nightlife with widespread access to Prep. Partygoers debated whether the homage did the ‘80s justice, but Ocean explained himself in a Tumblr post the next day.
Whether the debut was successful is a debate best left for those who attended, but we see your intentions, Frank. Queer artists who imbue their sexuality inadverdently end up with the responsibility of representing the LGBTQ+ community, and that’s not always an easy role. Keep reimagining.