After months of suspense and weeks of cryptic online teasing ahead of the release of his long-awaited second album, hip-hop breakout star Frank Ocean has released “Blonde.”
The album, released late Saturday via Apple Music, comes after the widely acclaimed 2012 “Channel Orange,” which defied easy classification by bringing together R&B, jazz and funk with the singer’s gentle, often-falsetto voice.
Ocean had earlier suggested on his website that the new album would be called “Boys Don’t Cry,” but that turned out to be the title of an art magazine that includes a CD of the new album.
The 17-song album, which carries a “Parental Advisory — Explicit Content” warning label, was also available at pop-up stores in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London.
In Manhattan fans lined up for more than a block at Mulberry Iconic Magazines — a convenience store that sells beer and sandwiches as well as magazines — for a chance to get hold of the album, The New York Times reported.
“I had the time of my life making all of this. Thank you all,” Ocean wrote on his Tumblr social media account.
“Especially those of you who never let me forget I had to finish. Which is basically every one of y’all.”
The name of the album is spelled “Blond” on the cover, but “Blonde” on Apple.
The unpredictable Ocean released on Thursday a 45-minute “visual album” through Apple Music titled “Endless” that featured unreleased tracks along with black and white footage of the singer engaged in a construction project.
Much of Ocean’s first album “Channel Orange” revolved around feelings of first and unrequited love.
Ocean later revealed that his first love was a man, a rare openness in the often macho world of hip-hop that led stars including Jay Z to applaud him for coming out.