When it comes to Frank Ocean’s long-gestating sophomore album, any news is worth celebrating. Which is why we’re busting out the jubilance for an admittedly ambiguous but ultimately promising development: He’s in the recording studio. And he’s working with Rich The Kid.
The Atlanta rapper, producer and frequent Migos collaborator set Twitter ablaze on Wednesday night (Jan. 6) when he posted a screenshot of him and Ocean FaceTiming each other. He casually captioned the pic, “Me X Frank Ocean…smh,” and later deleted the original tweet (although he’s continued to retweet fans’ screenshots of it throughout the day).
— Stephen Dacres (@SRDtv) January 7, 2016
Despite deleting the pic, Rich The Kid confirmed to HotNewHipHop that he and Ocean are indeed cooking up something in the studio.
“We recording new music today (Jan. 7),” he said. “We are in L.A. I’m here working with Wiz [Khalifa] and I called him [Frank Ocean], he’s in the studio.”
He also wrote “Hope y’all ready” in response to a Complex headline about a possible collaboration, adding more fuel to the fire ignited by our hopes that maybe, just maybe, Ocean is plotting his return after all. Or, at the very least, he’s getting his feet wet by working with Rich or Wiz.
Hope y'all ready https://t.co/xy8LefLdj7
— Rich The Kid (@IAmRichTheKid) January 7, 2016
Ocean’s largely kept fans in suspense about when to expect the follow-up to his major label debut, 2012’s channel Orange. In April 2015, he announced that an album and a magazine called Boys Don’t Cry would arrive that July, but the summer — and all of 2015, for that matter — came and went with no new release.
Hopefully, this Rich The Kid news will spur all parties involved to move it along. But in any case, I think we can all agree that the real buried lede here is Ocean’s new beard. Is all that facial hair a byproduct of long days spent holing up in the studio? If that’s the case, consider us Team Pro Scruff.