Another year, another release date of Frank Ocean’s sophomore album “Boys Don’t Cry” has passed us by and like always, there is no album out. Amidst reports of the album being released on the 5th of August, fans across the board have been let down once again by our favorite Odd Future crooner. Over the years since his debut album Channel Orange (2012) hit the street, Frank Ocean shot to stardom with hits like “Thinkin Bout You” and “Pyramid”, along with writing and collaborating with acts like Beyoncé, Kanye West, and Jay-Z, as well as becoming the face for LGBTQ equality in Hip-Hop music.
Since the album’s announcement in 2014 the public has been bombarded with numerous release dates, surprise releases, and hoax album leaks, which left fans all over the internet up in arms and if you’re anything like me, you’ve just learned to move on. So instead of waiting on Ocean to release the fabled follow-up to his 2012 album, I got hip to many R&B vocalists who have put out albums that are equal to and even supersede Ocean’s musical efforts. So instead of waiting on ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ here are five R&B albums to listen to instead.
Jesse Boykins III – ‘Bartholomew’ 
Brooklyn-based R&B singer Jesse Boykins III brings life back to the genre with the soulful mixtape ‘Bartholomew‘. Released for free through the singer’s Soundcloud, the Bartholomew mixtape explores a vast array of genres not normally found in modern R&B albums, such as Country, Dance/Electronic, and Reggae, none of which Boykins is a stranger to. 17 tracks deep, the tape features a hefty amount of guest appearances by artists like Willow Smith, Dej Loaf, Donnie Trumpet, Luke James, Mick Jenkins, Little Simz, Isaiah Rashad, Syd of The Internet and more. Checkout the track ‘Indie Girls’ below.
Ro James – ‘El Dorado’ 
Ro James has been killing the airwaves with his single “Permission”, taken from his critically acclaimed debut studio album “El Dorado”. Following a trilogy of EPs, his debut album has garnered critical praise across the board with many comparing him to the likes of Prince and Miguel but unlike the mentioned, James has a more aggressive approach to his style of R&B, with the album exploring sexual themes with a bit more of swagger than sensuality, a definite stand-out from the album is the track “A.D.I.D.A.S (All Day I)”. Peep his breakout single below.
Gallant – ‘Ology’ 
Coming into the game in 2013 with a stripped cover of Ke$ha’s single “Die Young”, Gallant soon released his debut project with the EP, Zebra before getting signed to Mind of a Genius/Warner Bro. Records. His debut studio album ‘Ology’ is a smoother, more soulful alternative to most mainstream R&B out today. The lead single “Weight in Gold” is a testament to the singer’s talent in songwriting as he is able to write melodies that can touch a soul. Peep “Weight in Gold” from Ology below.
BJ The Chicago Kid – ‘In My Mind’ 
In the tradition of the Motown legends before him, BJ The Chicago Kid delivers one of the most vocally commanding performances by a male vocalist in a while. The lead single “Woman’s World” is definite proof of the power in this man’s voice, BJ has been on the rise for a minute now frequently collaborating with the MC’s of TDE, working with Kanye West and Freddie Gibbs, among others. In My Mind serves as the singer’s major label debut via Motown, after self-releasing his 2012 debut album “Pineapple Now-Laters”. Check out his breakout single below.
Kwabs – ‘Love + War’ 
Kwabs is a UK R&B singer whose 2015 debut album “Love + War” created waves across the globe with the lead single “Walk”. The singer caught the attention of Atlantic records with his cover of Corrine Bailey Rae’s “Like A Star” which resulted in his signing. He has since callaborated with the likes of Disclosure and Fetty Wap, with his debut album generating universal acclaim and even snagging a MOBO Award nomination in 2016. Checkout the single “Fight For Love” from his debut album ‘Love + War’.