Full disclosure: I have tried my damnest to not like Frank Ocean. I basically ignored Nostalgia, Ultra after the saccharine “Novocane.” I didn’t understand why this guy I initially viewed as D’angelo Lite was in the raucous Odd Future crew.
It was his bookend choruses on Watch The Throne that started to make me think I might have overlooked something. A few days ago, Frank Ocean debuted his single for his upcoming official LP, Channel Orange. “Pyramids” is a 9 minute song that begins pretty forgettably, in my humble opinion.
Exactly at 4:26, however, the entire song does a 180. With a rising keyboard swirl, Frank comes to life detailing the morning after his night with Cleopatra — her getting ready for work at The Pyramid, ostensibly a strip club. He plays a pimp, but as the song’s author is constantly toying with the polarity of the fast life: decadence and void, excess and barely getting by. His wood-grained vehicle looks clean, but he can’t keep gas in it. He feels like he’s on top of the world when Cleopatra calls his name, but he’s jobless. This is a really great song (the second half of it anyways).
Also, I find it pretty hilarious that the cover art for the single is adapted from possibly my favorite cartoon ever, The Simpsons.