Frank Ocean doesn’t make many public appearances, but he stepped out to host his first PrEP+ club night in New York City on Thursday.
During the Blonded-funded event at Queens’ Knockdown Center, which was the first in a series of themed nights that aim to provide a safe space and bring people together, Ocean previewed new music for the crowd.
Despite the camera ban, some clips have made their way online. The Grammy-winning singer stood in the DJ booth and gave fans a first listen to his new club-ready material, including one upbeat track with sped-up vocals.
Ocean recently opened up about his interest in club music. “I’ve been interested in club, and the many different iterations of nightlife for music and songs,” he told W Magazine. “And so the things I look at now have a lot to do with those scenes: Detroit, Chicago, techno, house, French electronic…”
On Friday, he took to Tumblr to explain the inspiration behind PrEP+, which was billed as “an homage to what could have been of the 1980s’ NYC club scene if the drug PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) – which can be taken daily to prevent HIV/AIDs for those who are not infected but are at high risk – had been invented in that era.”
“I decided to name, what was otherwise going to be a night of lights and music inspired by an era of clubbing that I loved PrEP+ because while designing the club which is inside of an old glass factory basement in Queens,” he wrote, “I started to imagine in an era where so many lives were lost and so much promise was lost forever along with them, what would it have been like if something, anything had existed that in all probability would’ve saved thousands and thousands of lives.”
He also addressed critics who claimed it was done for publicity. “Oh one more thing, I saw someone say that this was a PR stunt etc etc, pshhh bitch pls come get a drink next time and I’ll put several barstools out so you can have as many seats as you need,” he added. “All my love everybody really. Stay safe.”