“I’ve got two versions,” the crawl of vocals proclaims at the start of Frank Ocean‘s newest track “Nikes.” The song blends manic rhymes with syrupy slow pleas packed with easter eggs for longtime fans as well as powerful tributes.
The Odd Future member shouts out Trayvon Martin, A$AP Yams, and Pimp C. Its accompanying music video straddles duality while dropping hints about Ocean’s forthcoming LP.
Initially titled Boys Don’t Cry, the “two versions” line comes from Ocean’s 2015 announcement of his first new material since 2012’s Channel Orange. That follow-up and its mixed-media accompaniment has yet to be released. It’s only fitting that the artist who used an old school library card with past due dates would fall a bit behind.
Instead, the 28-year-old released a visual album whose footage evoked the black and white teaser video he’d streamed on his website at the beginning of the month. More material is set to drop throughout the weekend, perhaps even another version of “Nikes” that pays homage to Harambe.
Fans are divided on r/FrankOcean whether we’ll be getting that tribute or if the felled silverback gorilla is still alive and well, guiding Ocean’s songs to greatness. In all seriousness, it’s good to see Ocean back and more prolific than ever.