Frank Ocean will release the follow-up to his acclaimed 2012 album Channel Orange this Friday via Apple Music. The new album, Boys Don’t Cry, will be sold as well as a print publication available the same day at Apple Stores, the New York Times reports.
The album announcement came on the heels of an Apple Music-hosted live stream video on Ocean’s website boysdontcry.co, set in an empty room with workbenches and occasional background noises. The abstruse web event came after similar hints from Ocean. Earlier in July, the singer-songwriter posted a picture of a library book slip showing a range of potential “due dates” for the record. Ocean’s brother Ryan seemingly confirmed the July date on Instagram, writing BOYS DON’T CRY #JULY2016″ in a caption.
At the time, Ocean’s representative told Rolling Stone that a publication accompanying the new record would be dubbed ‘Boys Don’t Cry,’ but clarified that he hadn’t unveiled the album title.
Ocean had been working on the project since at least January 2013, the month he scuffled with Chris Brown outside a Los Angeles studio. Details were largely kept under wraps, but Ocean reportedly worked with producer giants like Pharrell Williams, Danger Mouse, Hit-Boy and Rodney Jerkins. In December 2014, rapper Lil B posted a Tumblr photo showing him in the studio with Ocean. “RARE photo of LIL B x FRANK OCEAN IN THE STUDIO TOGETHER!! NEW MUSIC COMING SOON! Collect this!,” B wrote.
The first glimmer of new music since Channel Orange came last November with the atmospheric, lo-fi “Memrise,” which he posted to Soundcloud. In January, the singer shared “You Are Luhh,” his soulful rendition of Aaliyah’s “At Your Best (You Are Love),” a 1976 Isley Brothers tune the late singer covered in 1994.
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Ocean also wrote and recorded an original ballad “Wise Man” for Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 film, Django Unchained, though his contribution went unused after the director couldn’t find an appropriate spot for it in the film. The singer most recently co-wrote two songs, “My Willing Heart” and “Always,” on James Blake’s most recent LP, The Colour in Anything.