Playlist: Frank Ocean fan fiction

Meet the PBJ playlist, a collection of nine, disparate tracks, gathered together in an order that feels like a real, canonical album.

If patience is a virtue, then Frank Ocean is its patron saint. Almost no artist this century has been more sparing with their music than Ocean, who has released just two studio albums since his debut mixtape, Nostalgia Ultra, dropped in 2011.

Frank is deliberate. He’s calculated, and the music that comes from his slow, perfectionist process is ultimately always worth the wait. Still, that doesn’t mean the four-year stretch between Channel Orange and Blonde wasn’t full of desperate, painful anticipation, and it won’t make the wait for Ocean’s next record feel any less (ahem) Endless.

Coping with a generational artist who only drops music once per presidential term takes serious discipline, but thankfully there’s an easy solution—fan fiction.

Officially defined as “fiction written by fans of a TV series, movie, etc., using existing characters and situations to develop new plots,” fanfic has been giving people ways to broaden popular culture since the 1800s. In Victorian England, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle received countless reader letters that expanded upon his beloved Sherlock Holmes series, and people have been writing their own Star Trek episodes and Rob Gronkowski erotica novels ever since.

And who’s to say we can’t do the same for music? In Frank’s case, the material is already there—by my count, he’s released or prominently featured on nine total tracks since Blonde—and all we have to do is shape it into a new, fantastical plot.

The result is the “PBJ (Post-Blonde Frank) Playlist.” It’s a collection of those nine, disparate tracks, gathered together in an order that feels like a real, canonical album. It may not be anywhere as good as whatever Ocean does next, but that’s not what fan fiction is about. It’s about having fun, and filling your headspace with imagination while the real thing takes its sweet, patient time:

Think the playlist should be arranged differently? Tell me I’m wrong! Send me your own order, or feel free to publicly criticize me about where you think I messed up. 

Photo: Andy Holmes/Flickr

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