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Best Frank Ocean Songs and Meanings

Updated on May 5, 2013

8. Pilot Jones

Channel Orange.

  • Quote: "If I got a condo on the clouds, you can stay the night at my place".

In an unconventional track, Frank's lyrics tell the story of a female drug-addict who he is in some way responsible for, most likely his spouse. Although he loves his "Pilot Jones" he is in no way proud of their life together, "what if my mother comes over?", and would prefer to live a drug-free life with her. Even still, he can't escape their tangled bond " the stoner, with the sweetest kiss I've ever known".


7. Super Rich Kids (Ft. Earl Sweatshirt)

Channel Orange.

Quote: " Super rich kids with nothing but loose ends, super rich kids with nothing but fake friends".

It's constant bass and high notes give this tune a powerful Summer vibe, much like Sweet Life, from the same album. However, Super Rich Kids also features thought-provoking lyrics that the latter does not. Frank describes a day in the life of "super rich" juvenile who has everything anyone could want, but at the same time, nothing really at all, "the maids come around to much, parents ain't around enough", "they must don't care". These spoilt teens combat their boredom of having no ambition or motivation with an excessive lifestyle of drinking and drugs, "too many bowls of that green", "too many white lies, and white lines".


6. There Will Be Tears

Nostalgia, Ultra.

Quote: "I can't be there with you, but I can dream".

In perhaps his most revealing and personal release, Frank samples Mr. Hudson and shares some important life events and a fascinating insight into the star's difficult childhood. He starts by explaining that his grandfather was his father figure after meeting him at four years old, "the only dad I'd ever known, but pretty soon he'd be gone, too". After his death, Frank struggles with his emotions, so as to not lose face with his Odd Future crew members, "hide my face, won't let them see me cry". The song reaches an emotional end with Frank angrily pleading with his actual father, "you couldn't be there, why couldn't you warn me?".


5. Forrest Gump

Channel Orange.

Quote: "Forrest green, forrest blues, I won't forget you. This is love, Lord it's true, I'm remembering you".

A thoroughly original song, Forrest Gump uses wordplay to describe Frank's lost love of someone who, ultimately, rejected him, " i was screaming run Forrest run....oh where'd you go Forrest". Another clever comparison with the film is found in the opening line " my fingertips, and my lips, they burn, from the cigarettes". In the film, Forrest is kissing a woman on New Year's Eve, but is shocked, and pushes her off him, explaining "she tasted like cigarettes", this can be interpreted as Frank being sick of distracting himself with cheap women/men, from his ultimate rejection.


4. Thinkin' Bout You

Channel Orange.

Quote: "We'll go down this road 'til it turns from colour to black and white".

His most well-known track, Thinkin' Bout You allows Ocean to finally explain his now-famous love affair with another man, a major taboo in the hip-hop/rap industry. Before his man comes to his room for the first time, Frank experiences a roller coaster of anxious and exciting emotions "a tornado flew around my room before you came". Though he's been suppressing his lingering feelings towards men, Frank can't lie to himself and has never stopped loving him and hopes his feelings are still reciprocated "I've been thinking 'bout you, do you think about me still?". In the second verse, Ocean explains that if his lover is oblivious enough to think that he doesn't love him " no I don't like you, I just thought you were cool enough to kick it", then he will believe anything "got a beach house I could sell you in Idaho". In the haunting outro, Ocean confesses that he needs to see this relationship to the end and stops pretending otherwise, "we'll go down this road until it turns from colour, to black and white", he wants to be with him even when their love loses its freshness and is old and boring.


3. Pink Matter

Channel Orange.

Quotes: "Close my eyes and, fall into you. My God, he's giving me pleasure".

A haunting and emotional track, Pink Matter narrates Ocean's inner debate over his sexuality, he sounds to be pleading with the World at parts of the song, desperate and guilty over his feelings for men, "my God, he's giving me pleasure". Now that this part of his life has changed so dramatically, he questions everything he thought he knew, "what if the sky and the stars are for show, and the aliens are watching live?". Former OutKast rapper, Andre 3000 adds another dimension to the song of someone letting go of the girl they love for her sake, even though it's killing him inside " since you been gone I've been having withdrawls...she better with some fella with a regular job". The bridge, although hard to decipher, can certainly be understood as Frank coming to terms with his sexuality and the stereotypes that he doesn't want to comply with, "blue used to be my favourite colour, now I ain't got no choice, pink matter", he used to feel masculine, but is afraid that he'll now be pressured to fit a gay/bisexual stereotype of acting more effeminate.


2. Pyramids

Channel Orange.

Quote:"the way you same my name makes me feel like I'm that n****, but I'm still unemployed".

In a self-produced, ultra imaginative lyrical extravaganza, Ocean creates two opposing worlds detailing the fall from grace of certain type of woman, in the first half, she is worshipped and adorned by all, with tremendous wealth and power, "set the cheetahs on the lose.... Underneath our legions view". After an epic and tumultuous electronic instrumental, the song takes us to a modern day Cleopatra, seemingly a prostitute, "six inch heels catcha..... She's heading to the pyramid, she's working at the pyramid tonight". Ocean narrates as the modern Cleopatra's pimp, "I got your girl working for me", but it's possible that they were romantically involved in the past "but your love ain't free no more". An amazing feat of song writing and producing, Ocean has created a whole, deep universe, using the magical ten minutes of Pyramids, which defines the album beautifully.


1. Novacane

Nostalgia, Ultra.

Quote: "There's no drug around, quite like what i found, in you, you, you."

Almost indescribable, Novacane is a song that you can easily lose hours of your life to without even realizing. The opening verse describes Ocean's first encounter with the object of his affections, he "met her at Coachella", where she admits that she's "doing porn in the Valley" to pay to be a dental student, which he doesn't judge in the slightest "at least she workin'". It's at this encounter that Frank first uses Novacane, it makes him feel numb, and later discovers that the girl leaving him has the same effect. The second verse portrays his world turned upside down when he has to live without this girl, "sink full of dishes, pacing in the kitchen, cocaine for breakfast, yikes!", and now uses Novacane to "numb the pain" of losing her, trying to recapture this feeling, "you put me on a feeling I never had... and ever since I've been trynna get it back". In the final wailings, Ocean comforts himself with random women, who, although beautiful, mean nothing to him after his experience at Coachella, "pretty girls involved with me, making pretty love to me, pretty, pity, pity....I can't feel a thing". In the closing and poignant line, he admits that now that she's gone, all he has are mind numbing drugs to distract him, so intense was their attraction, "Novacane for the pain".

I thoroughly hope you have enjoyed my tribute to this great artist and feel free to comment any feedback or suggestions.


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