Has Frank Ocean released his album?
One of the life’s most important questions, answered with Python+PRAW
On July 10th, 2012, Frank Ocean released one of the greatest R&B albums of the decade.
Channel Orange was one of my favorite albums of the past 4 years, and for good reason. Ocean explores his style across the entire album, showing off his vocal range while discussing emotional subject matter we can all find a way to connect to. This was the soundtrack to my freshman year summer, and whenever I come back to it I get lost in memories of a summer full of adventure, girl anxiety, and the beginnings of finding myself.
I’m not the only one who fell in love with Channel Orange. All over the internet are stories similar to mine: others praising Ocean for crafting such a heartfelt album. People loved what Ocean did, and wanted to hear more, so there’s no surprise that when rumors of a second album came about, the internet was in frenzy.
That picture was posted on Frank Ocean’s tumblr on April 6th, 2015.
Then July came.
Then July 31st came.
Then disappointment came.
Twitter blew up with photos and memes describing how the internet felt towards Frank’s ambiguous statement: “#JULY2015”.
10 Months later and we still have no album.
I remember the anxiety I felt throughout the month of July. I checked my social media and online magazine outlets religiously, hoping I’d be there for the “New Frank Ocean ….” post and finally hear what I was waiting for.
But it didn’t come.
Step 1: Acceptance
It felt like being stood up. It felt like seeing that small envelope containing your dream college’s rejection letter. It felt like being the 51st person in line for a 50 person giveaway. It didn’t feel good.
I kinda gave up on waiting, and pushed the thought of it out of my head. Forget being the anxious fan waiting for an artist to release a project, I had other things to worry about.
That was the plan, until a shuffle playlist on my phone queued up one of my favorites by Frank Ocean, “Super Rich Kids”. That gave me an idea.
Step 2: Find a Solution
I remembered I’m a Computer Scientist, and know how to solve problems like these. It wouldn’t be too hard
One of my favorite online communities, www.reddit.com/r/hiphopheads, is the place I get all my music information. They’re quick, and within minues of new releases they’ve already posted the link and started a discussion about the song. For me, there’s no better place to search for the album’s release. When it comes out, I know they’ll be talking about it.
This script checks the recent posts of the site, and checks if any contain Frank Ocean’s name. If it does, it posts to Twitter and let’s me know by tagging me.
I think this project really highlights the simplicity of Python and how easy it is to interact with the APIs of different services. If this project interests you, definitly check out learning Python; it isn’t very hard, and you can find great places to learn here and here.
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Things don’t always go the way we plan: constraints come up, people let us down, albums never release. Though life is full of these moments, we can’t forget the golden rule of “never give up”.
Lets not give up on Frank.
Not this time.
UPDATE: There’s still hope after all: http://www.rapfav.com/frank-ocean-held-a-listening-party-for-his-album-in-nyc-last-night/
Source Code: https://github.com/yawkity/frank-ocean-bot