false alarms

No, Frank Ocean’s New Luxury Company Isn’t a Front for a New Album

Photo: Theo Wargo/WireImage

Today may not have brought us a new Kanye West album, and now it looks like it’s not bringing us a new Frank Ocean one either. Ocean, the R&B experimentalist, launched a new luxury company called Homer on August 6, setting off a bit of confusion when fans found a 12-track album on the website. A tab on the right reads “listen to 454,” and upon clicking, it plays through a woozy hip-hop project that many thought could be new Frank Ocean music (despite the unrecognizable vocals). But Ocean’s publicist told Vulture that the project is an album by the rapper 454 — who, according to this Rolling Stone interview and photo shoot, is not Frank Ocean. In fact, the songs line up with 454’s debut album, 4 REAL, released in March (and, according to Reddit sleuths, an album Ocean liked at the time).

But what is Homer then? According to a press release, the company will be selling fine jewelry and silk scarves at a store opening on August 9 at 70–74 Bowery in New York City. The Homer website currently allows prospective buyers to order a catalogue or book a shopping appointment. As for the name, Homer “represents carving history into stone,” according to the press release, which lists Ocean’s inspirations as “childhood obsessions” and “heritage as a fantasy.” It’s giving slight flashbacks to when Kendrick Lamar had us all wondering what an “at-service company” was, but if you’ve been looking for some new lab-grown diamond pieces, here’s your place.

The project follows a few loose singles Ocean dropped in 2019 and 2020 — a trail of crumbs following his last album, 2016’s Blonde. The musician also previously dipped his toe in the luxury market in 2019, hosting a controversially exclusive queer party called “PrEP+.” Ocean recently stoked new-music speculation, though, when Coachella co-founder Paul Tollett said the musician would headline the festival in 2023, after a canceled 2020 slot.

No, Frank Ocean’s New Luxury Company Isn’t an Album Front