We’ve compiled a list of documented developments in the Ocean-verse to sort through everything we know about Frank Ocean’s next album
Frank Ocean was among a slew of starry entrants named on Coachella’s 2023 lineup, with fans taking his headlining slot as proof of an imminent album. The notoriously elusive musician — who joined the lineup of Coachella’s upcoming edition alongside Charli XCX, Gorrilaz, The Kid Laroi and many more — has not dropped a full-length project since 2016’s acclaimed Blonde.
Naturally, with so many years between albums, fans have taken even the slightest of developments in the Ocean-verse as evidence of a forthcoming release. With that in mind, we’ve tracked Ocean’s post-Blonde movements — and what they mean for the singer’s future projects — beginning with his on-again-off-again appearance on the Coachella lineup.
View this post on Instagram
Ocean was first announced on the lineup of Coachella’s 2020 edition, where he was set to join fellow headliners Travis Scott and Rage Against The Machine. Given that it would’ve marked Ocean’s first live performance to an audience of that magnitude since 2017, many assumed that the headlining set would precede a new album rollout or the debut of new tracks during the performance.
However, Ocean was later dropped from that Coachella edition when the festival was postponed due to the pandemic, and did not reappear on its lineup when it recommenced last year. While it marked somewhat of a delay in a potential album rollout, Ocean’s addition to this year’s batch of Coachella acts could spell a new project around the time of the festival’s 2023 outing in April.
News of Ocean’s 2023 Coachella performance — which will mark his first outing at the festival since his 2012 set — compounds other developments reported late last year. In September, the singer wiped his Instagram feed clear of its previous 100 posts. The same tactic has been employed by the likes of Kanye West, Beyonce and Taylor Swift, each of whom deleted their social media posts before dropping Donda, Renaissance and Reputation, respectively.
FRANK OCEAN WHAT ARE YOU UP TO???? pic.twitter.com/hv0oZXghIu
— frankie (@frankuout) September 26, 2022
In the months prior to that, Frank had either teased or released a slew of potentially standalone tracks, with post-Blonde singles including Chanel, Lens and Biking, the last of which was a solo version of an earlier release featuring Jay-Z. Fellow standalone tracks have made their debut on Ocean’s Blonded Radio station, and include In My Room and DHL.
Throughout the post-Blonde years, Ocean has reportedly been collaborating with the likes of SZA, Rosalia and Skepta, the last of whom featured on a track Ocean debuted at his ‘PrEP+’ nightclub event two years ago. The club theme of that New York City event aligned with a rare interview Ocean gave to W magazine in 2019, during which he revealed that he’s “been interested in club, and the many different iterations of nightlife for music and songs.”
Frank's cover of SZA's "The Weekend" got a spin at the PrEP+ party last night. It's not clear who played it.
Word is @vegynvegyn had a surprise set at some point during the evening. pic.twitter.com/TGSBC4FY4E
— blonded.blog (@blondedblog) October 25, 2019
Prior to his Coachella lineup appearance, the most recent album development came in September 2021, when it was reported that the singer was shopping his third studio project to various potential labels. Numerous outlets reported at the time that Ocean had been accompanied by his lawyers when meeting label executives, during which his new music was being played.