Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Frank Ocean - "Pyramids" (With Analysis)

At first glance, "Pyramids" can appear to be an indulgent 10 minute track that Frank Ocean made just to say he got away with it. I wasn't so quick to judge. I was impressed by Frank Ocean's songwriting ability on Nostalgia, Ultra but "Pyramids" is a step further. If you break the song down into parts Ocean's seamless narrative shifts become easier to understand. The song starts off with a king deprived of his queen (Cleopatra) who is the main focus of the song. Ocean uses visual themes like diamonds, and chandeliers to emphasize the setting (Egypt). The middle section begins to blend the past and present with Cleopatra now running away and sleeping with Samson and eventually killing herself.  

"Our war is over, our queen has met her doom/No more she lives no more serpent in her room."

Now we meet the present day Cleopatra who is a prostitute getting ready to go to the "pyramid". Pyramid could be a phallic symbol like the cover art for this song or a reference to the Luxor hotel. In the next verse we meet her pimp who thinks he's ballin with Cleopatra working for him but he still is in a motel with a VCR.

However, the conclusion is the most important part, because it is there where the pimp is now in awe of her beauty (Cleopatra) and realizes how good she makes him feel. 

The last two lines are really significant because this pimp who was originally bragging is now paying to have sex with his own hoe! Frank Ocean brilliantly intertwines these stories and while it could have been shorter I didn't want to stop I was drawn in by the premise and was satisfied that it wasn't from one perspective but many. This is what songwriting should be and this is why I'm buying the album July 17th!!

Check out Rapgenius' analysis

3 Comments: Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

wow! amazing analyzing skills! kudos! :)
i love frank ocean for his insanely high vocabulary skills!

My first comment! haha. Thanks though Rap Genius is a really good tool for analyzing lyrics and I enjoyed his album.

http://genius.com/Frank-ocean-pyramids-lyrics

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