Frank Ocean's New Song With Jay Z Is One of the Best Surprises of the Year
It's unclear what, if anything, Ocean has planned next. He did almost no promotion in support of Blonde and actively chose to exclude it from the Grammys. Last month, with no warning (and again no explanation), Ocean released the clever "Chanel" on his Apple radio show. And last night, again on his radio show, Ocean shared "Biking." It features Jay Z and Tyler The Creator, the former for a single verse in the beginning of the song and the later at the end. Ocean holds down the middle of this acoustic guitar-driven track. Like "Chanel," Ocean's multi-layered vocal treatment comes in pulsing tides over the subtle beat. As if a new Frank Ocean song in itself wasn't a rare treat, the presence of Jay Z makes this one of the biggest surprises of the year—even in a season that's included Kendrick Lamar and Drake.
With any other artist, it would be logical to assume two new, surprise tracks would hint at an album in the near future. But with Ocean, nothing is certain. While it seems ambitious after years of silence to expect another full album, we do know that this summer he's anchoring a number of festivals, including FYF, Panorama, Sasquatch, and Primavera.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.