Frank Ocean is real and Blonde exists, despite the endless no-shows and dead ends that suggested otherwise. With a media takeover, pop-up shops, and a few grateful Tumblr notes, Frank descended from his mountain, gave us both Endless and Blonde, graciously thanked his fans, and disappeared back into the fog. I’m still in awe.
In a Yeezus-era interview with Zane Lowe, Kanye West attempted to explain the frustrations inherent to the unappreciated and over-worked artist: “If you know artists, there is only one thing you can say, give or ask them when you see them. There are two words: 'thank you.' There is no, 'why didn’t you do this? Yo, I want that, what’s up.' No.” So thank you, Frank. Thank you for it all.
But I’m still an obsessed fan that demands answers, only now I’m asking these questions while “Nikes” bumps in the background. I looked back at the Blonde hype, leaks, and hints to see what was delivered, and what remains unanswered. Something may eventually come out of these but I keep hearing Frank’s voice in the back of my head—“tell 'em it ain’t likely.”