These are all the things that have happened since Frank Ocean’s last album
So much has happened since we last heard his new music
What do we want? New Frank Ocean music! When do we want it? NOW! Well, we wanted it before now. We’ve been asking for this album for years at this point …
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 1, 2016
… so really anytime in the near future is good.
It has been fours years since the release of his first album, channel ORANGE, and three years since Ocean announced that he was working on his follow-up album.
In channel ORANGE, melodies, harmonies and raw, unflappable emotion were staples of the Grammy-award-winning freshman album. He told listeners stories through subtle and sophisticated methods, using imagery that was smooth and seamless, and with nontraditional figures such as a taxi driver, Forrest Gump and pyramids.
All these different drivers to get you to the one place he wanted fans to be, which was to understand a little bit more about the person making the music, and maybe something new about ourselves. Which is why many of us are so anxious for this follow-up album, Boys Don’t Cry.
Now, Ocean has periodically poked his head out to check what’s happening in the world. For example, he wrote a beautiful letter on his Tumblr about the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in June. He was also featured in a Calvin Klein ad campaign.
What we as fans need Ocean to process is just HOW MUCH the world has changed since he released his last glorious album. For instance, President Barack Obama’s children are almost grown and the family itself only has a few months left in the White House. Cleveland, the city of perpetual sports misery, is still drunk and has yet to go home after the Cleveland Cavaliers brought the city its first championship in more than 50 years. Michael Jordan has spoken out about societal issues. With his new album’s release coming soon (we hope), let’s all take a trip down memory lane to see exactly how much the world has changed in the last three years.
February 2012: The Black Lives Matter movement was started after George Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin because he perceived him as a threat and didn’t recognize the young black boy from the neighborhood. In the four years since Martin’s death, Black Lives Matter activists and other protesters have helped keep the conversation about how African-Americans are treated in this country at the forefront of national discussion.
November 2012: The first black president of the United States, Barack Obama, was re-elected to office after defeating Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Since getting another four years in office, Obama has clapped back in his State of the Union address, used the words “pop off,” and dropped the mic in his final White House Correspondents dinner speech.
June 26, 2013: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the federal government was required to provide same-sex couples the same benefits as heterosexual couples. More importantly, the ruling struck down portions of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which under state law denied gay couples these federal benefits.
December 13, 2013: Twitter was in rare form with the winter finale of Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal. Folks around the country sat in their homes with their glasses of wine and Twitter fingers prepared for any of the many twists and turns Rhimes is known to sprinkle into her shows. But then … it happened — almost as if Olivia Pope herself called in a favor to keep folks busy as they dealt with the show’s hiatus. Beyoncé dropped an entire album a few minutes after the show went off and absolute pandemonium ensued, because nobody was ready.
January 2014: Singer, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams decided he wanted to make a 10-gallon fashion statement at the Grammys, sporting a Texas-sized cowboys hat. Twitter was at peak frenzy stage when Arby’s tweeted at the owner of the fountain of youth that it wanted its hat back.
March 2014: It really shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us that Ellen would be the source of the most retweeted tweet ever. Her star-studded selfie at the Oscars garnered more than 3.3 million retweets. This was the year Lupita Nyong’o won best supporting actress and looked like a legit #BlackGirlMagic queen.
January 2015: You know that Chrissy Teigen meme we all love to use? Well, that came from the 2015 Golden Globes, when her husband, singer and songwriter John Legend took home the award for best original song along with Common for Glory on the Selma soundtrack. Naturally, the cameras pan to that special person in an award recipient’s life, and to quote comedian Kevin Hart, she wasn’t ready. As Teigen tweeted out a few minutes after her face gave Twitter users diabolical ideas, it only took five minutes for her to become a meme. Life comes at you fast, girl, thanks for playing.
April 2015: Rachel Dolezal, the infamous Spokane, Washington, NAACP chapter president, was outed by her estranged parents as a white woman. Dolezal explained in an interview with the TODAY Show that she identifies as black, and doesn’t regret living as a black woman for years. Black Twitter proceeded to drag her and created hilarious memes about her.
June 2016: The Cleveland sports curse was lifted. Not only did the Cavaliers win their first NBA Championship, they were also the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals and defeated the best regular season team in NBA history to do so. They also brought Cleveland its first major sports championship since the Cleveland Browns did so in 1964. Yes, the same Cleveland that lost to the Baltimore Ravens this season by having a blocked field goal returned for a score in the final seconds.