Frank Ocean’s two projects from this year most certainly won’t win the singer any Grammys even though they have been highly regarded as some of the best work from this past year.
It’s not that Blonde and the “visual album” Endless don’t deserve consideration because they clearly do. However, they can’t as a result of no one from Ocean’s label, management or reps submitted either work before the 2017 Grammy eligibility cutoff date, per a report by Billboard.
To ensure that music is Grammy eligible, it should be submitted by September 30th. Billboard reports a source confirms that neither of Ocean’s two releases was turned in by Boys Don’t Cry, the singer’s imprint, or Def Jam, though it’s unclear whether or not the move was intentional or not. Both albums launched in August so that they were qualified for entry.
Blonde debuted at no. 1 on the charts and was an enormous success — together with early reports it was illegally downloaded over a million times within a matter of days of its launch. Whereas nobody can predict whether or not it would’ve received any awards, there’s little doubt that it could’ve been a powerful contender among the many nominees.
Endless, however, had murkier waters to contend with because it was considered a “visual album,” the main reason it was excluded from the Billboard charts. Because the report notes, it technically might’ve been entered into a video category but chances of it winning weren’t as robust because the footage was composed of Ocean unceremoniously constructing a staircase while the music plays in the background.
So why not at least submit one of the albums? We can all take educated guesses however we won’t know for sure until Ocean’s camp or Def Jam makes an announcement, which neither has done at this point.
The singer and Def Jam supposedly have a strained relationship with Ocean being described as “a monster they couldn’t control” and the relationship between the two sides being called “a bad marriage” in the days following the release of each project. Nonetheless, messy details shouldn’t keep two beautiful bodies of work from being considered for recognition.
Except, in fact, not submitting them is all by design as a way to heighten the mysterious nature that surrounds Ocean.
Of all the possible options, imagining him going against the grain for whatever the reasons may make the most sense of all.