Do you like the new album by Frank Oceans
How Frank Ocean's new album caused a stir on social media in 2021
If you spend enough time online and on social media, there is an excellent chance you fall into one of two categories of people. Either you're not a fan of Frank Ocean and can't deal with the crazy buzz about his new album, or you're a fan of him and you are a part of that buzz.
The possibility of an upcoming album by Frank Ocean has kept people patiently waiting for their seats for over a year. The album, titled Blonde, was eventually discontinued and received overwhelming praise. But the intense preparation, especially in the last few months, has produced an abundance of memes, jokes and viral tweets from Frank Ocean.
Find Frank Ocean
The R&B artist repeatedly delayed the album, even disappearing after the New York Times apparently confirmed a release for August 5, 2016. She didn't arrive until August 20th.
Apple: Hey Frank, did you send the link for the album yet?
Frank Ocean: pic.twitter.com/Gmt1zj8Gmy
- Rafael. (@rafaxodiaz) August 5, 2016
To get to the bottom of the hype surrounding Ocean's Blonde, let's first go back to his debut album, which was released on July 10, 2012: Channel Orange.
Channel Orange is the publication that skyrocketed Ocean's career. It helped him develop his cult following. What's even more notable in today's world is that there haven't been any particularly radio-friendly hits or chart toppers. "Thinkin Bout You" only reached number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 and landed only a few times in other countries. The fans flocked to the full album rather than any singles.
Critics also recognized Channel Orange as a work of art that recognized Ocean as one of the best R&B and hip hop artists in the industry today.
Frank Ocean, are you good? # frankoceanpic.twitter.com/50quyZHIA6
- Dustin Genereux (@DustinGenereux) August 12, 2016
2013 went by with Ocean still enjoying the hits and spotlights that fell on him from Channel Orange. 2014 was similar, if expected to a lesser extent. It wasn't until 2015 that people asked themselves, "Where's the next Frank Ocean release?"
Adele to Frank Ocean: "Come back."
Ocean delighted his fans when he announced on his website on April 6, 2015 that the second album would be released in July 2015 and would be released in two versions. Well, it was like it fell off the ground sometime between April and July because July came and went without a look - no album, no updated release date, nothing.
After that, the social media hype really started building up. Even Adele, who made a splash on social media ahead of her third album 25, posted a message to Ocean on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in November 2015: "Come back."
The discovery of Nemo will likely come out before Frank Ocean's album Ocean pic.twitter.com/2RL5KBTbIU
- Stoj ☠ (@ChristinaaRa) December 23, 2015
The anticipation finally peaked in July 2016 - a year after Ocean announced that his second album would come out. This time, he posted a library due card on his website listing all the missed release dates. It also indicated that the album would finally be released in July. Again July passed and the album was nowhere to be found.
The social media mob
As you can imagine, Twitter was absolutely wild.
With Frank Ocean, I feel like that stupid friend who comes back with her ex after he cheated on her 485 times for saying "he's changed"
- Marcus Perez (@Markaaaay) August 5, 2016
What Ocean did was start a very abstract live stream from its website that ran for days. It showed a black and white room with wood and hardware tools. From time to time someone would come in and appear to be working on a project.
Frank Ocean harnessed the power of a cultural and technological revolution.
It wasn't until over a week later that he released his first visual album Endless, exclusively on Apple Music. The footage from the live stream ended up being over 45 minutes long video for Endless. But the video wasn't a real album ... just a streaming video. They couldn't buy any songs or even the entire collection.
Frank Ocean really made me wait so long ... not for individual files ... I need black and white footage from Home Depot ... ????????????
- Kingsley (@kingsleyyy) August 19, 2016
Then finally the right album, Blonde, arrived exclusively on iTunes and Apple Music and social media went crazy as expected. Many also found it interesting that the name of the album is "Blond" on iTunes, but "Blond" on the cover. It has been speculated that this is supposed to emphasize the amalgamation of masculinity and femininity.
blonde is male and blonde is female. The difference between album title and album cover is well known.
- Jason. (@ jsmith189) August 21, 2016
It's safe to say that Frank Ocean not only mastered the art of anticipation, but also the power of social media as a remarkable marketing tool. Seasoned companies know that word of mouth makes the most effective advertising. Social media is like word of mouth about steroids - someone can send their recommendation to thousands of people right away.
Ocean and the record label had virtually nothing to spend on advertising by the time his album was released, as his fan base on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr had done all of this for them. All of the promotion was done in the form of custom animated GIFs, memes, tweets, status updates, laps, retweets, and more. Frank Ocean harnessed the power of a cultural and technological revolution.
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