Hear a Great New Frank Ocean Song

Slate's Culture Blog
June 26 2013 1:06 PM

Hear a Great New Frank Ocean Song

Frank Ocean performs at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

It’s been nearly a year since Frank Ocean dropped Channel Orange, his widely praised debut studio album. Since then, he’s given a few memorable performances (and some not-so-memorable) and picked up his first two Grammy awards. The swarm of accolades, and the elevation of Ocean as a new R&B superstar, led inevitably to a small pushback, with some questioning whether Ocean deserved to be coronated so quickly. But even if we grant that Channel Orange is a great album, another question arises: Is it a fluke? Or does Ocean have enough talent to keep growing?

Our first glimpse of the answer is promising. During a recent performance in Munich, Ocean debuted a few new songs for his audience, and one in particular is beguiling, with a haunting electric guitar line and an echoing vocal effect reminiscent of “Pink Matter” and “Wise Man.” The lyrics are not all clearly audible, but what we can hear sounds just as introspective as what we’ve come to expect from Ocean. “I can’t relate to my peers/ I’d rather live outside/ I’d rather chip my pride than lose my mind out here,” he sings. “Maybe I’m a fool/ Or maybe I should move and settle, two kids and a swimming pool.”


Ocean’s said to be working with previous collaborator Pharrell Williams, as well as Danger Mouse, for his next album. If this song is any indication, could be another great one.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.