By Liam Menzies (@blnkclyr)
Remember on Biking when, during its outro, Frank Ocean channeled the flow and personality of Georgian rapper Young Thug? If you’re not sure what track that is then don’t worry about it: since the start of last month, the former Odd Future singer-songwriter has released three new tracks which definitely bumps up that average that was standing at a solid naught point after the waiting game he pulled on us before Blonde.
To cut Ocean some slack, he did tease his second studio album with another album in the form of Endless, a video record which most remember for being preceded by a stream that featured the artist doing some woodwork for a few hours. Craft and design aside, Endless was an impressive release, fusing Ocean’s pop stylings with an avant-garde tinge that makes it just as valid as the album that followed it.
Slide On Me was a track that featured on the aforementioned project and has recently dropped via a surprise new episode of Ocean’s Beats 1 show, blonded RADIO, even shinier thanks to it all being updated. This is thanks to Young Thug who makes an appearance and if you thought someone impersonating him could enrichen a track then him making a cameo will surprise you. Backed up by a beautiful acoustic melody, Thugga’s voice never sticks to one set shape, staying true to the artist’s amorphous nature with his vocals projecting from screechy heights to cryptic mumblings almost instantaneously. This alone is enough to certify Slide On Me as a track that allows for its artist’s voices to carry it over its running time rather than some superficial beat or instrumental.
Ocean’s contribution to the track is largely unchanged to how it was in the original cut though thankfully he isn’t totally overshadowed by Thug’s appearance. Much like his confederate, Frank channels that same vulnerability in a way that only he can, his voice traveling to these quiet inner territories, at points being stylistically drowned out by this amped up dub echo on his chorus vocals.
Even though his creative output has been at an unparalleled peak, Gorillaz are probably the only act that could compete, Ocean still displays versatility, confidence and, most importantly, a great amount of care that goes into his craft: those hours spent waxing wood weren’t just for show, eh?
Need more for your Frank Ocean fix? Check out our reviews of Biking ft Jay-Z and Tyler The Creator and Lens ft Travis Scott here. While you’re doing that, why not revisit our piece on his first single of 2017 Chanel.