In this blog post I will be talking about the song of the Biking with giving details on why the artists have collaborated, with also giving a background history on who Frank Ocean is and why I like him. I why I have picked the song Biking as for the one to make a music video for.
As a small introduction to Frank Ocean I feel that you should watch this video that I have found online. In the video he talks about Frank Ocean and whats so good about his music, mentions about Frank Oceans lyrical storytelling. This is also how I found out about Frank Ocean.
Frank Ocean’s career so far
Frank Ocean, also known as Christopher Edwin Breaux, is a RnB Contemporary artist. Being 29 year olds from the long beach California. Taking his stage name of Frank Ocean due to his love of the original Ocean’s 11 staring Frank Sinatra, Frank Ocean isn’t afraid of wearing his influences on his sleeve. Having influences from a mix of genres Frank Ocean has a become one of the most creative artists in recent years due to his great discography. Whilst also still keeping a very private life between releases. Staring off his career by becoming a ghost writer for artists like Beyonce and Rihanna. Frank Ocean wanted to make a name for himself.
Frank Ocean first saw the spotlight when he was apart of the rap hip-hop collective Odd Future (ofwgkta.) The group consisting young talented rappers such as: Tyler, The Creator, Hodgy, Left Brain, Jasper Dolphin, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, Taco, Syd and more. Releasing mix-tapes online for free with the rest of the group. This is where Frank Ocean met Tyler, the creator resulting in a long lasting friendship and having the duo collaborate on each other solo projects later down the line with songs such as: Golden Girl, Slater, She, Analog 2, party isn’t over/campfire/bimmer and Tyler the creator helping with Frank Ocean’s “skyline to,” on the drums.
Nostalgia ultra – solo mixtape
In 2011 Frank Ocean released his mixtape, Nostalgia Ultra, online for free. Again taking influence from a number of different artists from different backgrounds from Radio head to MGMT. This mixtape put him on the map for one the artists to out for, solidifying his solo career as an artist. Starting to become more complex with his lyrics as the start of this mixtape, by talking about Marriage and American pride.
Channel Orange – debut album
Later following this release with a debut full length studio in 2012 called Channel Orange. Signing under the record label The Island Def Jam Music Group. He released his album to critical acclaim, it also earned Ocean six Grammy Award nominations and was credited by some writers for moving the R&B genre in a different, more challenging direction. Still continuing to talk about different issues from prostitution to homosexuality.
He later confirmed of his sexuality through a tumblr post, in the post he talked about having loved another man in his late teens. Many people had already interrupted this due to the fact that most of his love songs or songs about love feature a male pronoun. An example of this would be the song Bad Religion, where he talks about homosexuality with the relation to Islam.
The tumblr post:
The announcement made global headlines, and some critics compared its cultural impact to when David Bowie revealed that he was bisexual in 1972.
Endless – A visual album after four years of silence
After four years of no interviews and having no social media presence. Frank Ocean releases a visual album and second full length album in 2016. Both in the space of two days. The first being endless. This had the songs play over a live stream of Frank Ocean setting up a staircase that seems to go nowhere. I believe that this was his way of getting out of the record label he was in. As he was signed to a two album contract, with making the visual metaphor that this experience with the record label was endless. After releasing this visual album he was able to the next day release his independently made album Blonde. Under the record label of boys don’t cry
Blonde is most likely his most successful album, by making Frank Ocean $2 million dollars in the first two weeks. It was recorded under his own label boys don’t cry, having featured a number of uncredited artists such as Beyonce, Tyler the creator, André 3000, Yung Lean, and Kim Burrell, among others. Blonde released again to massive widespread acclaim from critics and fans. Being celebrated for its experimental nature and breaking the rules, solidifying his place as one the greatest storytellers and artists around. Tony Visconti, one of David Bowie, producers saying that we need more rule breakers like Frank Ocean stating, “You might get a hit but it won’t sell as much as the thing you copied. That’s what’s wrong with music today.”
Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/bowie-producer-says-music-needs-rule-breakers-like-frank-ocean-kendrick-lamar-2030618#HdHLH91AHiUG2Cli.99
Frank Ocean’s Biking featuring Tyler, the creator and Jay-Z
In 2017 Frank Ocean, off the back of his recent success, released a number of singles: Slide, Chanel, Biking and Lens. Collaborating from a number of different artists from Tyler, the creator to Calvin Harris. The song Biking is probably one of the biggest songs from this selection due to it featuring Jay-Z and Tyler, the creator. The history of these collaboration dates from when Frank Ocean and Tyler, the creator first met in the 2000s where they made many songs together for the group Odd Future. Frank Ocean and JayZ first collaborated together for Jay-Z’s album Magna Carta…Holy Grail and then also featuring on watch the throne back in 2013.
My interpretation of Frank Ocean’s Biking song
I feel that Frank Ocean’s Biking is far from one of his most complex songs, but still has a level of deepness that carries throughout his work. Jay-Z I feel discusses about how life goes around and actions always have effects, positive or negative. He compares this to a bicycle wheel going round and round. He also mentions how a rapper life is normally short lived so enjoy while you can.
Frank Ocean talks about his problems comparing it to having a sleep walking condition. Mentioning how a sleep walker Frank Ocean can’t seem to control his problems and isn’t sure when the next one will arise. In the chorus he talks about getting the bike by the handle. He also mentions getting weak in the knees, this could be seen as a comparison to his struggles in life. In the third verse Frank Ocean talks about he feels that the Government shouldn’t have anything to do with love. My inspiration is that Frank Ocean is referencing the fact that gay people were only allowed to get married very recently in American. This is also him referencing his previous work on Nostalgia Ultra where he wrote a song called American Wedding talking about marriage.
Mentioning lighthearted subjects as well about how he gets cold even though it’s just under 70 degrees, due to living in such hot places like L.A. Frank also makes reference to drugs. Mentioning that he takes adderall to stay focused on his 24/7 music career.
Overall I feel that the song is comparing Biking to life struggles that you will come across, visually comparing them to going my hills and overcoming obstacles. With also commenting on the rap community as well.
Why I chose this song
I chose this because I feel that it has a really nice flow, connecting well between all the different verses. It also doesn’t get repetitive due to changing pace slightly with each new rapper that gets introduced keeping the song fresh. Having a variety of different of artists helps with the music video as I can keep changing the visuals of my music video so I can stop my short film from being repetitive. It also has a deeper meaning in most of the lines within the song. This means, if I want to, explore the themes within the song to have ideas for my short film.
Wikipedia. 2017. Frank Ocean wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Ocean. [Accessed 25 April 2017].
Jamie Milton. 2017. Bowie producer says music needs more ‘rule-breakers’ like Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nme.com/news/bowie-producer-says-music-needs-rule-breakers-like-frank-ocean-kendrick-lamar-2030618#HdHLH91AHiUG2Cli.99. [Accessed 25 April 2017].
kaptainkristen. (2017). Frank Ocean – Musical Identity. [Online Video]. 26 January 2017. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ohakZ5wYu8&feature=youtu.be. [Accessed: 25 April 2017].
Unknown, (2012), Frank Ocean [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/frankocean/profile/ [Accessed 29 April 2017].
Unknown, (2015), Odd future is no more [ONLINE]. Available at: https://consequenceofsound.net/2015/05/tyler-the-creator-says-odd-future-is-no-more/ [Accessed 29 April 2017].
Frank Ocean, (2011), Nostalgia Ultra [ONLINE]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostalgia,_Ultra [Accessed 29 April 2017].
Unknown, (2017), Jay-z and Frank Ocean [ONLINE]. Available at: http://uk.complex.com/music/2017/02/jay-z-and-frank-ocean-on-blonded-radio-beats-1-show [Accessed 29 April 2017].
Frank Ocean, (2016), Frank Ocean endless [ONLINE]. Available at: http://uk.complex.com/music/2016/08/frank-ocean-endless-contributors [Accessed 29 April 2017].