Frank Ocean’s wildly raved about two projects from this year most certainly will not win the singer any Grammys. It’s not that Blonde and the “visual album” Endless don’t deserve consideration because they obviously do. But, they can’t because no one from Ocean’s label, management or reps submitted either work before the 2017 Grammy eligibility cutoff date, per a report by Billboard.
In order for music to be Grammy eligible, it must be submitted by September 30th. Billboard reports a source confirms that neither of Ocean’s two releases were turned in by Boys Don’t Cry, the singer’s imprint, or Def Jam, although it’s unclear whether the move was intentional or not. Both albums released in August, so they were qualified for entry.
Blonde debuted at no. 1 on the charts and was a huge sales success — along with early reports it was illegally downloaded over a million times within a matter of days of its release. While no one can predict whether it would’ve won any awards, there’s little doubt that it would’ve been a strong contender among the nominees.
Endless, however, had murkier waters to contend with since it was considered a “visual album,” the main reason it was excluded from the Billboard charts. As the report notes, it technically could’ve been entered into a video category but chances of it winning weren’t as strong since the footage was composed of Ocean unceremoniously building 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 but we won’t know for sure unless Ocean’s camp or Def Jam makes a statement, 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 both projects. Still, messy details shouldn’t keep two beautiful bodies of work from being considered for recognition.
Unless, of course, 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 be makes the most sense of all.