Frank Ocean / Pyramids
by: Diego Martínez
September 16, 2012
For all of us who have appreciated Frank Ocean from the very beginning, we’re thrilled to know mainstream is finally catching up with a vengance. In the midst of the sheer glamour of this years’ MTV Video Music Awards, the rapper’s gentle yet powerful performance of his tune “Thinking ‘Bout You” was enough to eclipse One Direction’s fluff pop mania and Rihanna’s bold attempts to build up a rave with Calvin Harris and company.
Less than 24 hours after he replicated that same momentum on “Saturday Night Live,” Ocean unleashed the surreal 8-minute video of the epic channelORANGE single “Pyramids.” Directed by Nabil, who also provided visuals for his “Novacane” and “Swim Good” clips, it starts off rather chilly with Ocean drinking shots at a bar and shooting it all up before riding into the desert on his bike.
All that drinking must have gone all the way to his head, as he recalls a bizarre visit to a strip club with the usual slo-mo booty shaking and luscious eye-staring. Next thing you know, a sweaty and flabbergasted Frank Ocean meets John Mayer, who appears from behind a neon pyramid strumming his guitar. Some things don’t need that much explanation, and this encounter bit is just one of those things.
Regardless of how weird those events went down for better or for worse, at the end of the day “Pyramids” is stellar. Its shortfilm quality shows Nabil’s consistent ability to create groundbreaking visuals that provoke emotions across a broader audience (his work for Bon Iver, Bruno Mars and Kanye West are proof of this fact). But mostly, it also demonstrates the endless possibilities of a smart and extremely talented young singer, whose rise to sucess is taking him to unexpected places.