October 24, 2019 4:03 PM   Subscribe

A New, Ever-Complicated Era of Frank Ocean Is Upon Us [Vulture] “Is Frank Ocean circling album mode again? In the last five days, the Blonded team rolled out a new party, a new radio mix, a new single, a bounce remix of Blonde’s “Nights,” [Soundcloud] and more. Co-produced by German house DJ Boys Noize, Ocean’s new “DHL” [YouTube] is a psychedelic floss track rooted in the cryptic swag rap of 2016’s Endless. The lyrics range from devilishly conceited (“Niggas think it’s new, it ain’t new, boy / Old files just turned two, yeah / Still sound like it’s coming soon, yeah”; “Independent juug, sellin’ records out the trunk / I’m already rich as fuck, so the product’s in the front”) to mysterious (“This ain’t no fuckin’ hopes and dreams prophecy / How’d he sleep? Faith is in the coffee bean”) to just plain horny (“Boy toy suck me like a Hoover / Boy toy ride me like an Uber”).”

• The musician named an exclusive party after an HIV-prevention drug. Why? [The Atlantic]
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that more than 1 million Americans should be on that pill if AIDS is actually to be made into a memory. How might artists try to help close the gap in adoption? How can they reflect the way in which identity—sexuality and race and lifestyle and inheritance—has been tied up with a medical regimen? Frank Ocean gave a shot at answering those questions Thursday, and it seemed a fortuitous time for him in particular to expend his cultural capital on work that makes an impact. [...] The event arrived, as with all things Ocean, swathed in mystery. It was announced on the very day it was set to take place. Invites were distributed by unspecified means. The venue remained a secret until shortly before the doors opened. All anyone knew was that the description posted by Gayletter said PrEP+ would be “the first in a series of nights; an ongoing safe space made to bring people together and dance” and “an homage to what could have been of the 1980s’ NYC club scene if the drug PrEP—which can be taken daily to prevent HIV/AIDS for those who are not infected but are at high risk—had been invented in that era.””
• Frank Ocean’s PrEP+ Party Didn’t Feel Queer [Out]
“This night in particular was meant to be an “homage to what could have been of the 1980s NYC club scene if the drug PrEP … had been invented in that era.” That description came with a series of rules that emphasized consent, no tolerance for “any form of discrimination” and the succinct directive that “the dance floor is for dancing.” It was a short brief, light on the details. No one knew where things would take place, or how they could finagle access to the event. No one knew who this lineup of “globally celebrated DJs” would be. And when people don’t know something they want to know, they infer or assume. It’s important to say that, though some claimed the event would be inclusive, that word is in none of their own material. With the name of PrEP+, allusions to the AIDS epidemic, restriction on cameras, and a rule about consent, many assumed this was meant to be a sex party. (However, that was never explicitly stated.) Neither, to be frank, was the word queer, though there was a “zero tolerance” for homophobia and transphobia mandate. Still, many assumed that PrEP+ was going to be a queer, sex-positive club night that would make us feel something. But for many, that is distinctly not what happened.”
posted by Fizz (4 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'm skeptical of album rankings, but Pitchfork's The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s did put Frank Ocean's Blonde in the right spot.
posted by josephtate at 11:45 AM on October 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

did put Frank Ocean's Blonde in the right spot.

I whole-heartedly agree, although a friend of mine has seriously argued that Blonde should be in the #2 position, with Endless at Number One.
posted by Umami Dearest at 1:47 AM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

The second PrEP+ party seems to have benefited from the feedback, and maybe from less demanding expectations:

“I also believe that black and brown and Latinx people, people of color, trans and queer bodies dancing in a space like this is a radical act,” they continued. “Nobody’s made a connection between the fact that Frank Ocean is a queer black man throwing this party. [That doesn’t] give him agency to do whatever he wants with that narrative, but at the same time, he’s reimagining it and creating a new space for people to celebrate themselves, to dance.”

Others I spoke to shared a similar sentiment: of course it’s weird, but it’s also pretty cool that Frank Ocean booked a party with Papi Juice and SHYBOI. And on that, while I counted only about 70 people left at the end of the night, SHYBOI’s closing set, packed with pummelling and disorientating techno, was chaotic and wonderful, a thrilling 90-odd minute odyssey of sweat and skill. Sure, Ocean inadvertently invited discourse by invoking gay clubs of the 80s, but discursifying something like PrEP+ removes the joy from it, divorcing it from the fact that clubbing should be fun and weird, a place to blow off some steam. On that basis, PrEP+ succeeded: I stayed for a long time and had a lot of fun and got to see SHYBOI, who is currently one of my favorite DJs. It wasn’t transcendent, but it was a pretty fucking good party.

Frank Ocean’s second PrEP+ club night didn’t have to be anything but fun (The Fader)
posted by Umami Dearest at 1:56 AM on October 26, 2019

frank just released the second single in this cycle (???) called in my room; it's a vibe and a half.
posted by JimBennett at 10:35 AM on November 3, 2019

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