Frank Ocean Has a 140-Hour Version of ‘Endless’ Visual Project
Who said millennials aren't the "do-it-yourself" types?
Frank Ocean excited his exasperated fanbase this past weekend with an overload of content. Ocean ended his long artistic silence with a variety of mediums. It all started on Thursday (Aug. 18) when the NOLA-born contemporary released a visual album on Apple Music called Endless. The 45-minute black and white visual showed Frank building a staircase with his bare hands in an empty room. The visual came complete with new music from the 28-year-old, his first original content in four years. Then, on Friday (Aug. 19), came the music video for "Nikes." The NSFW video featured custom Balmain, devil costumes, plenty of glitter and even a talking dog. Finally on Saturday (Aug. 20), Ocean broke the Internet by dropping his sophomore album Blonde on Apple Music along with his own magazine Boys Don't Cry.
Upon the release of these artforms, Frank released a lengthy list of contributors who helped him along the way. Every big name in music — Beyonce, James Blake Kendrick Lamar, Tyler The Creator and Kanye West just to name a few — got a shout out from the singer in the list of credits. But among the music industry heavyweights recognized, fine artist Tom Sachs was credited as being an inspirational force behind the Endless film.
While fans are still digesting all this new art from Frank, Pitchfork spoke with artist Tom Sachs about his involvement in Frank's visual album.
"I know there was a huge wait on this for all this to come out," explained Sachs. "I think it's testament to the reality that things made by hand take time. We’re living in an age of non-handmade things. The iPhone is the best-made thing there is, but there’s no evidence of a human being involved with it. Frank's music, which is very personal and literally has his voice, in the same way that all musicians have their voice, it simply takes time. And when you see the video, you see him building a stairway to heaven in real time. The 40-minute version is edited, but there's something like a 140-hour version. That’s the whole thing. That exists, that’s the art piece."
Speaking of excess, Frank's mom, Katonya Breaux Riley, warned fans on Twitter from paying ridiculous prices for her son's magazine on eBay. During the album drop on Saturday, Frank's team gave away copies of the mag in pop-ups at New York, London, L.A., and Chicago. While the copies went fast, some lucky enough to get their hands on one are now attempting to resell them for up to $1,000 online. But Riley's warning seems to hint that more copies of the zine will be available soon.
And finally, a new report from The Verge cites an unnamed source who claims The New York Times was directly responsible for the album delay after Frank's team "lost the element of surprise." Woops.
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