It is safe to say Frank Ocean is not disappearing this time. On April 8th, Ocean dropped his third song since the release of his highly acclaimed second album, Blonde, in August. Since Blonde, Ocean has come out with “Slide” with Migos and Calvin Harris, “Chanel,” and now “Biking,” which features JAY Z and Tyler, The Creator. After Ocean’s debut studio album channel ORANGE was released, Ocean was silent for the next four years in terms of solo projects. After mysterious signals and several pushed back release dates from the singer, Blonde was finally available, and Ocean has maintained his presence in the industry ever since.
“Biking”, which premiered on Ocean’s internet radio show Blonded, displays an interesting contrast of different ends of the rap spectrum in its collaboration from JAY Z and Tyler, The Creator. Ocean first worked with JAY Z on “No Church in the Wild” in 2011 and then again on “Oceans” in 2013. Ocean and Tyler have several collaborations together, as they were both a part of the rap collective Odd Future.
The song opens with a strategically offbeat JAY Z repeatedly saying “life moves in cycles, what comes around goes around” and then rattling off typical JAY Z metaphors while boasting about his wealth in lyrics such as “Wristwatch got a Russian face like an oligarch.” After a quick one-minute verse from JAY Z, the beat changes into smooth guitar and Ocean’s silky voice enters the track.
Throughout the track, metaphors of biking are used to paint a picture of the cycles in life. After a peaceful verse from Ocean, the song picks up for the chorus where ocean chants, “I don’t get weak in the knees / Hundreds spread out like a fan / Vert feel like some Gucci sandals / Open the sky get a handful / Torso marked up like a vandal / How you not f*ckin’ with cash? / God gave you what you could handle / I got the grip like the handle / And I’m bikin.’”
Tyler then hops on the track, his verse providing what is possibly the highlight of the song. “Biking” concludes with Ocean rhythmically yelling in a style reminiscent of Young Thug. The track marks a solid installation from Ocean, one which hopefully indicates even more great things to come.