Frank Ocean's latest track is a ten-minute jam called 'Pyramids'
John Mayer provides the psychedelic fretwork
Rising RnB star Frank Ocean never does things by the book, as his latest track "Pyramids" will attest to.
The Odd Future-affiliated crooner seems to have stuffed everything but the kitchen sink into this one. In the beginning, a backwards beat meets a smooth bassline, over which Ocean sings about a woman named Cleopatra. Real drums and some synth sounds move in, as he carries on about ancient Egyptian-themed love. Rick James would be proud. Then things get weird.
Around the halfway mark, Cleopatra goes "workin' at the pyramid" (did Pharaohs have nightshifts? Or is this "Cleopatra" really a stripper or a call girl?) and the song gets slower and more stripped down, held together by a sparse 808 beat and some catchy keys.
Listen to the track here:
The song's extended coda only adds to the overall strange, low-key feeling of melancholia-meets-eroticism (Peep the single's dirty, surreal, "Simpsons"-inspired artwork above). It signs off with a psychedelic guitar solo from none other than John Mayer.
"Pyramids" is the first song to be released from Ocean's long-delayed "Channel Orange" (Def Jam), which is finally scheduled to drop July 17.
What do you think of the song?