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Frank Ocean Turns Low-Key Rapper for First Post-‘channel ORANGE’ Track

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean has shared his first previously unheard track since the release of his SPIN Essential official debut album channel ORANGE, and as with his recent TV appearances, it’s profoundly off in his own orbit. After the ambitious future-R&B sweep of the album, Ocean returns to straight-up rapping for the first time since The O.F. Tape Vol. 2‘s closing posse cut “Oldie,” on a new song that 2DopeBoyz says is titled “Blue Whale.” It’s a nicely understated move, with conversational, free-flowing rapping (shout out to Jerry Rice!) and a guitar-heavy backing track somewhere between Stevie Wonder’s electric-Rhodes soul and Prince’s paisley neo-psych. “Life goes on,” Ocean repeats for the hook, which isn’t exactly a new point, but that’s part of the point. The track starts and ends abruptly, as if in medias res, life going on and on, mixtape to album to whatever comes next.