Frank Ocean pop-up shop provides fans with free copies of ‘Boys Don’t Cry,’ ‘Blonde’


Leeks Lim/Daily Senior Staffer

Fans wait in line to grab copies of Frank Ocean's new album, "Blonde." Fans flocked to the Chicago-Main Newsstand after it was announced there would be a pop-up shop located there giving away free copies of the album. ​​

Khadrice Rollins, Summer Editor

After waiting four years just for the release of Frank Ocean’s new album, fans in Evanston were treated with the chance to snag a free copy of the album and the artist’s magazine at a pop-up shop at the Chicago-Main Newsstand, 860 Chicago Ave., on Saturday.

The pop-up shop was one of only four in the world, with the other three located in New York, Los Angeles and London. The shops locations were announced at 5 p.m. on Ocean’s website.

The crowd lined up outside of the shop on Main Street and the line eventually wrapped all the way around on Custer Avenue before going up the stairs of the Main St. Metra stop. People were let into the shop in groups of either five or 10 for one minute at a time to grab a copy of the magazine and album, which lined the shelves of the store.

The album, titled “Blonde,” was placed inside a copy of the magazine, “Boys Don’t Cry,” which was initially going to be the name of the album.

“It’s such an experience,” SESP sophomore Lucas Philips said. “You can always get an album online, but you can’t really do it with all of the fans. It’s like a community type of thing.”

Many fans said they learned of the pop-up shop through various social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and hustled to the store as soon they could.

Ariana Allen was riding a bus when her boyfriend alerted her about the opportunity to snag a free copy of the album. She then caught an Uber from Loyola, where she attends school, to make it the shop in time.

“He texted me at 6:15, and I was still on a bus from Crystal Lake, so I got down here by 6:45,” she said. “I literally got off the bus, got on the Uber and came down here and I just waited.”

For others, travel may not have been quite as extensive, but was still time sensitive. Philips and Weinberg junior Abhi Shekhawat were in their fraternity house when they heard about the pop-up shop and then rushed to the store to get in line.

“We didn’t think we were going to make it, but we did,” Shekhawat said. “We were pretty hyped.”

The highly anticipated album is the first Ocean has released since his 2012 Grammy award-winning LP “channel ORANGE.” On Thursday, Ocean live streamed and released a visual album titled “Endless” on his website before releasing “Blonde” on Saturday.

Although many fans had previously voiced frustrations in regards to how long it had been since Ocean released new music in the lead up to the release of “Blonde,” people were glad to finally have a copy of his new album, even if it meant waiting in line for almost two hours.

“The wait was most definitely worth it,” Allen said.

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Twitter: @KhadriceRollins