Frank Ocean has been given many titles in his day: a successor of Prince, this generation’s Luther Vandross, Maxwell without being sappy, Usher without being a womanizer, and the most obvious and universally voiced, a smooth ass mother fucker. ‘Scuze my French, but we all know it’s true. And no matter which you agree with or if you agree with any at all, Frank is undeniably paving new territory and stepping forth in doing what is yet to be done as his first and foremost title: An Artist.
In listening to Frank’s latest release “Pyramids”, a ten minute track characterized by pure vocal seduction and the first dropped off of his upcoming, longly anticipated album, Channel Orange, I was feeling…let’s just say… inspired. And, ok, maybe some other things I and the rest of Frank’s fan base wouldn’t want to publicly admit.
Anyways, in usual Frank Ocean manner, the track’s arrival to the public had not been announced nor alluded to until the day of. Accompanying it was the name of his upcoming album, Channel Orange, its due date, a segment of an upcoming music video, and a list of US tour dates of which previously had been entirely unheard. Naturally, I instantly downloaded the song, watched the video, and bought the tickets for his July 17th show in Los Angeles, the same day his album drops. Did I know whether or not I would still be in the state or region of California on that day? Of course not! But like I said, I was inspired, and with inspiration generally comes a sense of irrational immediacy.
So, I have been playing “Pyramids” ever since its release and nothing else. Mind you, the track is ten minutes long; ten minutes is a commitment. But that said, I have been faithful to this striptease of a tale called “Pyramids” and figured just why this wins the crown atop his already-notable anthology.
Why? Because this is the Frank Ocean we have been waiting for, vocally, artistically, and above all, sexually; you heard me. “Pyramids” is so much more than a song; it is an audible baptism, a narrative delicacy, a self-indulgent experience! And you best believe once you press play, this ride will take you to the destination of your choice. Will it be The Pyramid? That’s up to you. Yet, like any other endeavor, it is not the destination but the journey along the way that one must pay close attention.
Although Frank is oftentimes labeled as an R&B artist, he has entirely steered clear of confining himself to one genre. In “Pyramids”, whatever and all that he really is as an artist, he has managed to embody. This lyrically intimate imagery depicts a fantasy-like scenario for the average, yet in Frank’s narration defines a new man behind the vocals. The length in its ability to change pace with patience, with suave, is like a furthering of the foreplay. Its timeliness is like the morning after’s warm awakening of a night well spent.
Outside of the sexual backbone of the analogy, my point is this: “Pyramids” takes you where you need to get going with no rhyme or reason to rush. This ten-minute track touches on all reasons why Frank Ocean is who he is. No matter the listener, something in here will resonate with you, for this is art.