Headphones: Is Frank Ocean Back?

Almost four years to the day, it seems like we may finally receive a new album from Frank Ocean.  Since the release of the critically acclaimed Channel Orange, Frank Ocean has remained at large, hiding from the media and the public eye.  However, it wasn’t always this way.  When Frank Ocean dropped Channel Orange, both the album and himself were paraded in the spotlight.  The album, which won a Grammy award, was widely considered a masterpiece and Frank a brave hero, having spoken out about his first true love being a man.  Award show performances and life in the limelight only lent to the idea that it was Frank’s time to shine.  In 2013, it was confirmed that Ocean had returned to the studio to work on a follow up album.  On April 6th of 2015, Ocean teased fans with a release date of July 15th for the highly anticipated follow-up, Boys Don’t Cry.  The day came and went without an album release, and fans have been disappointed ever since.  As time has gone on, numerous rumored release dates have yielded futility, passing by like end of the world predictions.  This past May, things heated up, with his producer Malay hinting that album was near complete. Then on June 1st, Twitter exploded when the account Snatched Bops tweeted out that the long awaited album was coming out June 3rd.  While there was no word from Ocean himself, fans went into a hysteria; and who could blame them. However to the dismay of many of his fans, this was just a hoax.  But on July 3rd, fans received this Easter egg on Ocean’s Instagram:

BOYS DON'T CRY #JULY2016

A photo posted by @boysdontcryan on

a cryptic message in the form of a library due date card.  Each month since last July has been stamped and it seemingly ends on July 2016, with the date of the month scratched out.  Is Frank telling us the album is coming? Or is he just watching us squirm in anticipation?  Most fans have become numb to these teases, yet find themselves checking twitter every hour hoping to see the headline we have all dreamed of:

Frank is back.

Album of the Week: Logic – Bobby Tarantino: Since Beyoncé dropped her self-titled album Beyoncé in the middle of the night without any notice, the rest of the game has been put on notice.  Kanye said it best when he tweeted that the days of scheduled releases were dead.  It’s all about the surprise drop.  Now you have huge artists like Kendrick Lamar, who could benefit from the media hype of a scheduled release, dropping projects like Untitled Unmastered without any notice or warning.  The trend continues with the release of Bobby Tarantino from the prodigy Logic.  While labeled a mixtape, it feels like a full-fledged concept album.  The production is carefully crafted while Logic brings the fiery bars that he is known for.  Lyrically, he places himself among the wittiest and most daring.  He repeatedly name checks other artists, most notably Kanye West.  If we’re to believe the line, “I’m trying to take this sh*t further beyond ‘Ye”, we’re going to have to look out for Logic for a long time coming.  With the eerie piano/synth backbeats, testy bravado, and gritty flow one could draw comparisons from Eminem or G-Eazy, but it would offensive to the work that Logic puts in on Bobby Tarantino.  Logic separates himself from the middle pack with this record. He not only raps about being among the best, but he puts himself in that conversation. 

Music Videos

Pop: Rihanna – Sledgehammer: Rihanna's new video is 'out of this world' as she records this hit for the new Star Trek Soundtrack

Hip/Hop: Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis – Dance Off: Mackelmore recruits the talents of actor Idris Elba, who both acts and sings in this video.  

EDM: Zedd– True Colors: This video is a unique play on its words, as it the camera floats around the city of New York and it's tallest building, The Empire State Building, as it changes colors in the night sky.

Alternative: One Republic– Wherever I Go: One Republic always find a way to produce one of the leading songs of the year with each new album.  Could this be another one?

International: Zayn– Pillowtalk: The One Direction alum picks up where he left off with the group, releasing hit after hit.  With this song, he is well on his way to a promising solo career.

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Noteworthy:  Drake Still On Top: Drake’s fourth album Views continued breaking records this week, when it spent its 9th consecutive week atop Billboard’s 200 chart.  Since Billboard changed it rules on streaming in relation to album sales, artists like Drake have been reaping the benefits.  Last week alone, streams equated to over 80,000 units sold towards Drake’s Billboard count.  Naturally, this will lead to radical changes in Billboard numbers/records.  A 9th week in a row places Drake 3rd all time for longest time spent atop the chart for a hip-hop record.  At the same time lead single One Dance ended the week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the 7th time.  All signs point to Drake having a long and successful run atop Billboard.