Frank Ocean fans everywhere were bummed out when the singer cancelled the seventh episode of his “Blonded” Beats 1 radio show a week ago with no explanation. But last night, the ever-inscrutable Ocean surprised us all again, airing the episode with very little warning. As has been the case with all past broadcasts, this one contained previously-unreleased music.
First off was a brief freestyle over “Rolls Royce Bitch,” a track from 2 Chainz’s recent album Pretty GIrls Like Trap Music.” You can hear a radio rip of that here. Next, and far more importantly, came “Provider,” a full track that, like “Lens,” “Biking,” and “Chanel” before it, has been released as an official single. Unlike a few of those aforementioned tracks (minus “Biking”), “Provider” also came accompanied by an odd lyric video that involves boombox construction and a bouncing Hello Kitty head. As of right now, the only place to watch that is Ocean’s website.
The actual song itself begins as a shuffle led by a keyboard tone that Ocean’s used liberally in the past year, then the beat drops out and we enter a more impressionistic passage, and finally a trappier beat brings us on home. The overall flow, as is the case with most recent Ocean songs, is unorthodox, but the lyrics are even more so. In four minutes, Ocean name-drops Dragonball Z’s Goku, the Talking Heads, Stanley Kubrick, wholesale Gildan t-shirts, Aphex Twin’s “Come To Daddy,” the Patagonia clothing brand, and JAWS. We’re pretty sure half of those things have never been referenced by name in songs before, and even if they have, the combination of all seven makes for quite the bizarre pot-pourri.
You can listen to the full seventh “BLONDED” episode, rumored to be the last in the series, here. It also features a conversation with filmmaker Spike Jonze (who was recently seen filming Ocean during his US festival performances), which may or may not hint that he and Ocean are working on a film project together? With Ocean, only one thing’s for certain: his next move will not be the one you expect him to make.