Clearly, Frank Ocean has been taking in his Prince/Outkast discography lately, as Pyramids seems to come out of the same “experimental but catchy” spirit that the aforementioned artists perfected. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, Pyramids is the second single from the forthcoming Channel Orange album, which will be released on July 17th. Co-produced by Ocean, along with Malay (who produced John Legend’s ill “Green Light” from a few years back) and Om’Mas Keith (of Sa-Ra Creative Partners fame), the music ventures between several musical genres simultaneously, but to the producers credit, takes a turn into the realm of spaceship-soul-music, two/thirds of the way in. Lyrically, Ocean comes with it as only he can, connecting a story about Queen Cleopatra being taken from underneath his watchful eyes, to Cleopatra the stripper, preparing to put in some work.
Regardless of what you feel about Ocean coming out of the closet, you have to respect someone for being who they are and not hiding behind any masks. It’s crazy that, in our society, it is extremely difficult to just "be yourself", let alone do that with millions of people judging you from afar. I also agree that it’s difficult to separate the artist from the music, but I’m not sure that should even be the case, as it seems as though we are trying to avoid difficult conversations by just saying, “it’s only about the music.” Yes, tracks such as, Swim Good, Thinking ‘Bout You and Pyramids, still sound as sick as they did the first time I heard it, but all I know is that I’ve had more mature conversations with my friends about homosexuality as a result of his revelation than I’ve ever had in my life.
It’s these sorts of conversations that help to bring universal tolerance closer to reality–but does it help bring Frank Ocean to an even higher status as a true 21st Century star, or will it take him down? That remains to be seen, but what I can say for certain is that he hasn’t lost a fan in me.