From the vast game of Telephone that makes up much of social media these days, you may have heard the rumor that Frank Ocean is going to quit music and become a novelist, and this impression hasn’t been helped by SEO-baiting headlines looking for those quick “Frank Ocean retires” hits. However! We’re here to set the record straight: Frank Ocean is probably not going to retire.
I guess everything in life is a math problem, but it can be more about an empirical route to getting the symmetry that you want, and this vibe, sonically. But storytelling’s a different thing. Like I said, it’s the more interesting part about making music for me, or making albums and songs and stuff. So much so that I might not make another album. I might just write a novel next. I don’t know!
That’s a classic Ocean response , at once philosophical, wordy (how many other musicians would give a quote like “an empirical route to getting the symmetry that you want”) and expansive. What it is not, though, is an admission that he’s going to quit. Frank’s an imaginative guy, and he often follows his stream of consciousness wherever it takes him—PR notions be damned. But even he knew he couldn’t let the Guardian reporter off the line without setting the record straight:
So this novel …
You know, I gotta answer those questions for myself day by day. I don’t intend to stop making music. This isn’t a faux retirement. It’s no bullshit. I was just making music yesterday. But I do think—it would be fucking legendary if I just made Channel Orange last year, then put out a best-selling novel next year, then, you know, designed an arena in Stockholm in 2014! I don’t know! You just do what you can and you have as much fun as possible, and love your life as much as you can despite the bullshit and all the expectations and shit. You just do what the fuck you wanna do at the end of the day, and don’t give a fuck. As long as your intentions are solid, and about growth and progression and being productive and not being idle, then you’re doing good in my book.
So yes, Frank Ocean sometimes thinks about quitting, but as should be eminently clear by now, Frank Ocean thinks about a whole lot of things.