Each day, for the last week, has started in exactly the same way. Once my laptop is turned on, my attention loads into a room. In it, there’s a workbench. To the side of it, a rack of speakers, designed by the artist Tom Sachs. There’s no colour, just the natural ambience of an unattended warehouse, lightly punctuated by the consistent whirring of passing time. Or maybe a distant voice, or even a cough. It’s hard to tell. I’ve been looking at this room for so long now that a subtle suggestion of differentiated sound sends a faint reverberation around my being. Am I going mad?
I’m waiting here for Frank Ocean. When he appeared in this room as part of an Apple Music live stream last week, it was as though the puzzle pieces of the last few years had fallen into place. As Ocean drilled, cut and chiselled his way through a supply of building materials, it was suggested that the broadcast would act as a pre-roll for the release of his long-awaited Boys Don’t Cry album – a claim that was then catalysed by the New York Times, who ran a story stating the album would be released last Friday. Then: nothing. I’ve spent the last few days looking at a desolate, empty and grey warehouse, and, through the lack of information, I’m starting to feel sick. It’s like I’m rotting inside, time has caved in on itself and, until the album is released, there is no future beyond these monochromatic walls of despair and desire. Where is Frank? Is he trying to communicate to us from the upside down? Is he… dead? Should I head to the ocean, put a seashell to my ear, and attempt to explore the album through the crevices of a discarded exoskeleton?
At this point, it’s self-evident that I need to spend more time outside and away from the trance-like, backlit glow of the computer. Perhaps I should permanently turn off my phone and put a block on any websites related to transcendent R&B icons. Maybe I could take up a hobby, like cooking or catching wild Pokemon or conversing with other humans. But like so many fans, I’ve been transfixed with what Ocean is creating, and diverting my attention away for an indefinite amount of time until Boys Don’t Cry is released feels impossible. I’ve been waiting for this album since news of it first appeared back in 2013. Now, with it hanging limply on the horizon but still no news of a firm release date, I’m standing on a precipice, anxiously waiting to tumble down onto the other side where I will be free. Not because the album will be out, but because this desperate and longing period of my life will be over.
The Boys Don’t Cry roll-out is a masterclass in patience. It’s a celebration of art and the time it takes to craft what is likely to be a Grammy winning, culture shifting, life-affirming record. But it’s also a burgeoning form of purgatory. With no word from Ocean on when the album will be released – just a Tumblr post from 2015 in which he claimed “I got two versions. I got twoooo versions”; a backdated library card; an initially promising livestream that has slowly descended into silence – members of his fan-base have been perpetually stationed in a tunnel of exhausting and polarising emotion. Frank Ocean doesn’t owe anyone an album, but through this extended tease that’s played out across content farms for the past two years, it would be empathetic to offer some respite. To do so isn’t a requirement. But as the bait-and-switch tactic of the Boys Don’t Cry rollout prolongs itself further, the silence is weighing heavier on the most dedicated of Ocean’s fanbase.
In the /r/FrankOcean subreddit or the Frank Ocean thread on the notorious KanyeToThe forum, fans have gone SAS with the minutiae of information surrounding Boys Don’t Cry. Based on a tweet sent out six months ago, it’s been suggested that Frank is building a staircase in the livestream. Last weekend, an overly-curious fan worked out where Ocean’s livestream took place (an art space in Brooklyn). They’ve spent countless hours pouring over the HTML code on Ocean’s official website, looking for clues; they’ve stalked through Instagram and Snapchat accounts of Ocean’s family, producer, and friends, searching for details; they’ve camped outside Apple stores and contacted the company’s inhouse support. I know this because I’ve been there with them – and it’s driving me mad. In lieu of any new solid information coming from Ocean’s camp, fans need an escape rope from this carousel as it compulsively spins between the livestream, fan sites, and opposing feelings of excitement and crushing defeat. In fact, at this point, every Frank Ocean fan probably needs a form of magic. So, because fuck all else has happened with this stream and I’m slowly losing my mind, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Before computers and microwaves and honey-glazed BBQ ribs and even laced up trainers, the world looked a little more medieval. It was around this amorphous state of pre-modern time, that witchcraft started to come to prominence. The most popular form – known as Wicca – still exists today. And it’s this brand of spell-casting, dear readers and Frank Ocean fans, that we shall use to salvage ourselves from this dire situation we are in. According to free-witchcraft-spells.com these spells are incredibly easy to do. There’s a slight problem with the ingredients (for example, one spell asks for “a smooth piece of onyx or jet” like that’s something I can pick up from my local Tesco) but fuck it, I am at the end of my tether here. The lack of Boys Don’t Cry in my life has made me feel ill and I need to feel healthy again.
I’m not going to cast a spell to make Frank Ocean release his album. Firstly, I’m not sure on the legality. Secondly, despite not releasing an album he shall not be tainted by witchcraft. Instead, the spell I am going to cast is a “trust spell”. Read along and do it with me. Maybe then you will feel free.
WHAT YOU NEED
The two most important things here are focus and belief. Without them, you will remain a directionless husk. Once you’ve got those two qualities on lock, pull together an assortment of images that represent the person you need to trust – which in this case are some of the most angelic photos of Frank Ocean. For natural ambience, it is also worth splashing out on a collection of scented candles and incense. These smell nice, and they have deep and cleansing spiritual benefits. Use the below picture as a guide:
HOW TO DO IT
Assemble all of the materials into one neat area, like in the photo above. Light the candles and the incense. Then, chant the following incantation:
“Trust is needed. It's what we must see. Make me trust Frank Ocean, so mote it be".
If this approach doesn't work, then don't falter. Regain strength, keep up the momentum of energy, and start again. With this particular spell, it may be a good idea to attempt the incantation within or near a pool of water. Why? The answer is simple: water is an extremely powerful element that has the potential to heal on many levels – it is the giver of life, it is sacred, it can cleanse all that is evil. It also forms part of Frank Ocean's name, which is a double whammy and has the potential to strengthen your spell. So, on your second attempt, build a shrine to a missing pop icon in a room or place where water is present.
Keep chanting: “Trust is needed. It's what we must see. Make me trust Frank Ocean, so mote it be".
Rinse and repeat, then attempt the following: "Do you like me, do you love me? Truth be told, truth be bold. No more lies by the power of the skies. Truth be told, truth be bold. Speak the truth I wish from you. Truth be told, truth be bold. Do you love me, do you like me? Truth be told, truth be bold".
At this point, you may feel a deep and resonating vibration move through your body. Do not fear. This is the spell working.
It will feel like you've ejaculated with the force of a thousand suns. This is the release of negative energy from inside. Let it happen.
Then: it will be over.
I will not think about Frank Ocean again until the album is released.
I am healthy now.
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