Frank’s back already.
Just a couple days after dropping his visual album Endless, Frank Ocean returns with the eccentric video for “Nikes,” a song expected to land on his forthcoming LP, which was previously titled Boys Don’t Cry.
“Nikes” finds Ocean in a dream and nightmare-like trance, one filled with scattered visuals of glitter, the devil, semi-NSFW nudity, a rapping Chihuahua, and bodies on fire. Images of models, cash, horses, sex, and pregnant women flash before a baby is shown to close out the clip.
The five-minute video also features cameos from Trina and A$AP Rocky, who holds a framed portrait of the late A$AP Yams, followed by tributes to Pimp C and Trayvon Martin. “Pour up for A$AP,” sings Ocean. “R.I.P. Pimp C / R.I.P. Trayvon / That ni**a looked just like me.”
Aside from those acknowledgements, Ocean also celebrates iconic rap labels in the song’s lyrics, shouting out Slip-N-Slide (hence the Trina cameo) and Rap-A-Lot Records.
“Nikes” contains “two versions” overlapping one another. One is a chopped-and-screwed monologue, perhaps prompting the Rap-A-Lot reference, and the other a melodic piece filled with smooth harmonies.
The song’s release comes after a lengthy lead-up. Back in April 2015, Ocean teased Boys Don’t Cry with a Tumblr post captioned: “I got two versions. I got twooo versions…” Those lyrics now appear on “Nikes.”
Chance the Rapper also made reference to the lyrics on Twitter last year.
These bitches want niiiiiike… But the real ones.
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) July 31, 2015
On Thursday night, Ocean released Endless, a visual album featuring Jazmine Sullivan, James Blake, Sampha, and TROY NōKA. “Nikes” is not on that project and is seen as the first sign of yet another Ocean project to follow.
Rolling Stone reports that the album previously known as Boys Don’t Cry is expected to be released this weekend under a different title.