On August 20th the world was blessed once again with the melodic voice owned by none other than Frank Ocean. The singer-songwriter’s sophomore album “Blond” was heavily anticipated by many of his fans—including myself—since his debut in 2012 with “Channel Orange.” On Ocean’s official website boysdontcry.co an image of a library card is shown with a list of 17 possible release dates.
Prior to its official release “Blond” had been rumored by twitter trolls to surface since July of 2015. After many false alarms, who would have thought a year and one month later our prayers would have been answered?
In the opening song “Nikes” Ocean alludes to how materialistic some people can be. The first words you hear are “these b*tches want Nikes. They looking for a check, tell’em it ain’t likely.” Ocean notices that many females he has encountered look at him as a meal ticket—a way to get fast money; however, due to his experiences he sees right through their game and makes it clear early on in the relationship that they will not get any money from him.
In addition to that Ocean also mentions the carelessness of some people and how the “Devil be possessin’ homies” with his shout-out to Trayvon Martin and the “punk madre, punk papa” that does not seem to care for the child he is speaking of.
Ocean also includes a monologue in “Be Yourself” from the mother of a childhood friend who is talking about staying away from drugs and alcohol to her son who is going off to college. This monologue is similar to “Not Just Money” in “Channel Orange,” where she talks about the value of money and how it can be “the difference between…being happy and sad, the difference between having a home and living on the streets.” It seems like in the midst of some questionable and somewhat risqué lyrics Ocean still tries to include a bit of life advice for the listener to think about.
In the last song on the album Ocean looks back on his life and how far he has come from making minimum wage to $800k. Although his fans think of him as a musical and lyrical God he feels far from it, even though he sometimes feels like one while knowing he is not.
Ocean wants to thank the fans for supporting him and his music as it becomes therapeutic for him. He illustrates a conversation with his mother about running with the love, support and fame he has now until it is over.
While it is obvious that he is enjoying his ride to fame and his ability to share his talent, he also uses 2Pac to illustrate his wish to simultaneously stay hidden and lowkey: “They tryna find 2Pac, don’t let ‘em find 2Pac. He evade the press, he escape the stress.” Maybe 2Pac was also tired of fans constantly asking “when’s the next album?!”
Overall “Blond” definitely shows growth in Ocean’s confidence and his relatability. He is no longer afraid to explicitly display his sexuality, whether you catch on to his clever hook-lines or not. By being more open on this album than his previous, Ocean is changing the game as we know it with 17 tracks. I absolutely recommend this album to anyone who appreciates deep lyrics, imagery and relatable stories.
Frances Jaynes is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.