Last night, just ’cause and without ceremony or comment, Frank Ocean dropped a new track called “Blue Whale” on his Tumblr. Like Frank songs past, it’s a sort of melancholic tropical deal; unlike Frank songs past, Frank drops the sweet croon and instead raps. Frank’s flexed his rap muscles before — albeit only briefly on epic Odd Future posse track “Oldie” (at 5:17, if you’re short on time) — but this is, as far as we can tell, his first front to back rap song. It could maybe use one of his trademark hooks (what song couldn’t?), but coming off the success of Channel Orange and a string of high profile performances, the fact is that Ocean owes us nothing. So why not, like he says, “Let a relevant n***** do what a relevant n***** feel” and let him rap if he wants to?
Frankie’s just going with the flow here. He sounds cool when he raps — “back pack raper skills, veteran n**** deal,” he says — and there’s no real urgency to his concerns: “Stuck in the sky, first time upside down, on the whole ride/ And I wasn’t much into the type, that my bros like/ So I never really had no wife and that’s alright.” After the year he’s had, it’s nice to hear him take it easy. “I ain’t racing no fucking rats, I’m relaxing,” he raps. “And if it’s wrong to you? Well, life goes on, brother, that’s one thing about it.”
Listen above, or here.