After four years of agonising silence, Frank Ocean has returned with a visual album, an album, and a zine. Was it worth the wait? Yes. A thousand times yes.
Ocean, much like Kanye West, Drake and many others heralded in the release with a series of three pop-up stores opening across the United States and one in London over the weekend. The stores featured the long-awaited 360-page printed Boys Don’t Cry magazine, which includes poems from Ocean, Kanye, Tyler, The Creator and more, photography, lyrics, and most importantly a hard copy version of the album Blonde / Blond, which is a variant of the version now streaming on Apple Music.
Obviously, many people missed out on the hard copy of the magazine, which was given away for free at the store. Even those who contributed weren’t guaranteed a copy – Tom Sachs, who played a large role in creating the visual album Endless (the unedited version of which apparently runs for 140 hours), told Pitchfork that “I worked a little on the zine, which I haven’t seen yet. I went to go buy it, but I guess it’s not for sale. I went to the place and they said that they gave away 1,500 copies yesterday.”
Naturally the zine is already popping up online for exorbitant prices, which fans unsure about whether more versions will be made available for sale (or for free) now that the album is out and the stores have closed.
Luckily, Frank Ocean’s mother Katonya Breaux has come to our relief, warning fans against paying “ridiculous” prices:
Don't Pay those ridiculous prices for the mags on eBay. Just hang tight a sec..
— katonya breaux (@katonya) August 22, 2016
Breaux, who can be heard pleading with Ocean to not use drugs or alcohol and to simply be proud of who he is on the Blond track Be Yourself, adds “Just hang tight a sec…,” which can surely only mean one thing: more copies of the magazine will indeed be available for those who couldn’t make it to the physical stores.
In addition, Spin reported that staff at the Chicago pop-up confirmed that a full digital copy of Frank Ocean’s magazine will be made available too.
This makes sense, considering how last minute the pop-up announcement was, and considering how much effort and work was put into its creation. On top of this, the visual angle, including the film as well as the photography found in the zine are clearly essential to this release. Finally, considering the physical album contains several different tracks to the online version, why wouldn’t Ocean want you to own it?
No word yet as to where or when it will be available, nor whether it’ll be for free or for sale, but for now, rest assured that you too will soon be able to own your own copy of Boys Don’t Cry.