Frank Ocean drops "Nikes" music video, a seeming ode to individuality and queer freedom
Just one day after dropping his long-awaited third album, Endless, Frank Ocean is back with more music. Early Saturday morning, Ocean surfaced "Nikes," a chopped and screwed ode to fallen rappers, victims of police brutality and all those pursuing their path. Its accompanying video captures talking chihuahuas, glittering booties, muscle cars and an all-together generous amount of nudity.
It paints an incredibly diverse picture of life, capturing odd-ball couples and party people daring to express themselves in a myriad of bold fashions.
The video has very little discernible narrative. It's more concerned with establishing a sense of Ocean's base, the audience he's still preparing to speak to.
"We're gonna let you prophesize," Ocean sings in the track, when his lyrics finally come after nearly 4 minutes of ad-libbing over his rich visuals. "But we're going to see the future first."
Those ad-libs said RIP to A$AP Yams, Pimp C and Trayvon Martin. "That nigga looked just like me," Ocean says. He also covered his party rules.
Rules one and two are "Don't take no photos in the party." Leave that to Frank's excellent filmmaking team.
Rule number three: "I only have one love." This apparently is what it looks like.
Ocean has made odes to queer artists before. On Friday's Endless, Ocean contained a snippet of dialogue from the drag queen ball movie The Queen. When Ocean toasted Prince on his Tumblr back in April he praised the artist's willingness to defy gender norms.
"He was a straight black man who played his first televised set in bikini bottoms and knee-high heeled boots, epic," Ocean wrote. "He made me feel more comfortable with how I identify sexually simply by his display of freedom from and irreverence for obviously archaic ideas like gender conformity etc. He moved me to be more daring and intuitive with my own work by his demonstration."
The release of "Nikes" confirms the impression that Endless was really only a prelude all that Frank has been building. The full, technicolor vision of the album people have been calling Boys Don't Cry for over a year at this point is still to come, and may arrive this weekend. With videos like this already rolling out, chances seem good.
Time will only tell. Only two things are certain: Frank is back, and life is good.
Watch "Nikes" below.
Aug. 20, 2016, 9:34 a.m.: This story has been updated.