Song of the Day #3,513: ‘Chanel’ – Frank Ocean

Tied for the 14th spot on Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll are two very different songs I’ve already featured on the blog: Kesha’s ‘Praying’ and Migos’ ‘Bad and Boujee.’ I’m a big fan of the former; the latter, not so much.

Frank Ocean claims the 16th spot with ‘Chanel,’ a single the elusive singer dropped as a surprise release earlier this year.

I haven’t listened to much Frank Ocean, but I’d like to. This song is a great start.

Ocean has been relatively open about his bisexuality (considering he’s a famous rapper), but never as forthcoming as he is on this song.

I read a review that connected the opening lines (“My guy pretty like a girl / And he got fight stories to tell”) to Moonlight‘s lead character, Chiron, and like that film this song is a complex exploration of Black sexuality and masculinity.

Now this is exciting rap music.

[Verse 1]
My guy pretty like a girl
And he got fight stories to tell
I see both sides like Chanel
See on both sides like Chanel
Swimming laps through pool water
Heated like I’m underworld
Hide my tattoos in Shibuya
Police think I’m of the underworld
12 treat a nigga like he 12
How you looking up to me and talking down?
Can’t you see I am the big man?
God level I am the I am (whoa)
Now film it with that drone cam
In the pink like Killa Cam
Put a zoom on that stick; Noé
Up so close I’m on that kill
Remote controller on your lower back
Yes, the good
Dick could roll the eyes back in the skull
Rolling when you ride, poppin’
Rolling when you ride, ride the Rodman
Got one that’s straight acting
Turnt out like some dirty plastic (Ride)
2016 burnt some discs
2017 ideas playing off a Walkman
This a cult, not a clique on the net
With a cup in a cup, Actavis
That’s a double edge, “issa knife”
And I don’t like to fight ’til I’m fighting
Revenge in the air make my lungs sick
Chopper in the sky like a gun trick
Clips on clips like Mike
It’s really all

[Chorus]
I see both sides like Chanel
See on both sides like Chanel

[Bridge]
It’s really you on my mind
It’s really you on my mind
It’s really you
It’s really you on my mind

[Verse 2]
V both sides of the 12
Steam both sides of the L
Freeze smoke rings and they hail
Sleet snow grind for the wealth
Whole team diamonds is real
Showed ’em how to shine by theirselves
You need a cosign for your health
I need that bitch to grind on my belt
I know you need to try for my belt
I know you seen it driving itself
No matte black on the ride ’cause it’s stale
But it’s stealth

[Chorus]
I see both sides like Chanel
I see both sides like Chanel

[Outro]
My pockets snug
They can’t hold my 7
They banned my Visa
My Amex and Mastercards
I got new money
And it’s all cash
I got new bags
And they all collabs
I rubber band a bunch of thousand dollar Delta gift cards
(I mean my baby bi)
Amazing the cash online unknown
(I mean my baby bi)
Blazing the dash, counting money at home
My pockets snug
They can’t hold my 7
They banned my Visa
My Amex and Mastercards
I got new money
And it’s all cash
I got new bags
And they all collabs
I rubber band a bunch of thousand dollar Delta gift cards
(I mean my baby bi)
Amazing the cash online unknown
(I mean my baby bi)
Blazing the dash, counting money at home

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,513: ‘Chanel’ – Frank Ocean

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    The lyrics and subject matter are certainly compelling, but I wouldn’t be able to decipher most of these lyrics without reading them and I’m not really drawn into the music.

  2. Andrea katz says:

    Thank you for writing about this. The comparison to Moonlight is really interesting. I like learning about stuff like this. 🙂

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