“Underneath our legion’s view, they have taken Cleopatra…”
How amazing has Frank Ocean‘s year been? I always figured that, out of the entire Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All collective, he might be the one to break out into a whole new tier of stardom. He’s multi-talented, honest, a bold new member of American music’s extended GLBT community and a phenomenal performer. His rendition of the track “Bad Religion” on Fallon earlier this year remains one of the defining moments of the musical year – and with his latest video (again, I know I’m late!), he has created yet another one.
A collaboration with director Nabil sees Ocean in a series of dark, shocking events that take him to the Pyramid as described in the song lyrics, which turns out to be a strip club. As the song progresses, things get darker, uglier and more hypnotic in their dizzying framing and motion effects. This is far from a glorification of sex work, and more a portrayal of a night going horribly awry as things get further and further out of hand. It honestly gets to a point where I have no idea whether what is unfurling is actually happening or whether it’s part of an extensive fantasy trip. What a nightmarish yet notably rewarding effort. This truly is the year of Ocean.