Music

Frank Ocean Unpacks His Grief in New 9 Minute Track

Frank Ocean returned to his Apple Music 1 show on Christmas with a surprise nine-minute track.

Frank Ocean heard that fans have been restless for new music and gave them a gift just in time for Christmas. While he’s yet to release a new album since dropping Blonde and Endless in 2016, Ocean surprised listeners with a new installment of his Apple Music 1 radio show Blonded Radio.

With Blonded Radio premiering at 11 AM PST/2 PM EST on Christmas Day, Ocean debuted a new track. The piano-driven song features Ocean in rapper mode as he ruminates on the acceptance of grief. In August of last year, Ocean’s 18-year-old brother, Ryan Breaux, tragically died in a car accident in Thousand Oaks, California.

On the Blonded Radio episode, Ocean spoke with extreme athlete and Dutch motivational speaker Wim “Iceman” Hof, who the song is aptly named after. In an accompanying Instagram Story, Ocean spoke on the writing process.

“We spoke for a while about his work, the purpose of grief, and how going into the cold water changed his life. It reminded me of conversations in the studio with players I know. Freewheeling, psychedelic, emotionally charged, intelligent, and generous. I enjoyed listening to him, so in this edit I just let him speak uninterrupted. Me, @coryhenry, and @dylanpatricewiggins, played some sounds underneath to heighten the feeling. I added some writing at the end that I did a single take of w Cory in the summer of 2020. I came back and added a few words and parts over the top of that take more recently. Felt like it fit the wabi sabi of Wim’s words. Merry Xmas everyone.”

Following the death of Virgil Abloh in November, Ocean eulogized the designer in an Instagram Story. While Ocean is slated to headline Coachella in 2023, the singer launched independent luxury company, Homer, in August.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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