By Dennis Kim
April 17, 2016
You’re the best-worst thing that has ever happened to me. Suddenly crashing into my life like a wave, you stayed for maybe the duration of a Pacific breeze. Christopher Francis “Frank” Ocean. It’s been 3 years, 9 months, and 8 days since we last talked. You said you named Channel Orange after the summer you first fell in love – that color is slowly fading.
I remember once sitting on a curbside of an Amsterdam strip club after three too many drinks. It was cold and hazy, I could feel my innocence noticeably slipping away. Listening to “Bad Religion” for the 900th time, you helped me become at ease about the idea of unrequited emotion. I think we share similar feelings of disorientation, but I could say the same for anyone in this disconnected, whack-ass generation. When two lost souls find each other, it’s a bond that the two desperately hold on to (but you don’t even know who I am). So when you announced you were coming back, I counted the days till July. July came and went, so did August, so did September, so did 2015.
If I’m being completely Frank,
I blamed Chance for delaying The Life Of Pablo, but that was two days, you’ve been MIA for three hundred.
When Beyoncé released her self-titled masterpiece in 2013, it managed to sell 600,000 copies over the course of three days with no prior album promotion. A marketing feat that befuddled the music industry and prompted various case studies. It was completely unexpected and that’s precisely the difference between you two: she never said she was coming back, she didn’t make the reservation and leave me to eat dinner alone at a table for two. You’ve made me learn that being disappointed hurts more than not expecting anything at all.
But if I’m being completely Frank,
I just want you back Frank, I want to hear about how you’ve been the past couple of years. Have you been drinking a lot? Did you ever have that talk with Forrest Gump? I do want you to take your time. Compton took 15 years to come out after The Chronic – my mother (or Plato?) says the trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit. In a time where instant-gratification has primed an addictive relationship with music, artists releasing works every time I open my internet browser, this particular withdrawal is glaring.
Maybe I look like a fool waiting for someone who is obviously making an album for no one other than himself. But your music has put me and the rest of us in a delusionary state: we’ve been waiting and we’ll continue to wait.
“This unrequited love, to me it’s nothing but a one-man cult/and cyanide in my styrofoam cup.” – and we’re all still sipping.