B2B: Frank Ocean x Gil Scott-Heron

Music editor Ginny teamed up with her mate Georgia to introduce two tracks, one old and one new, that have been on our playlist this week. The first is the most hyped track from the last fortnight, the other a timeless soul classic.

Frank Ocean - Chanel

For the second time within a matter of months, Frank Ocean has unexpectedly released music after returning from his 4 year hiatus. Ocean’s talent of perfectly conveying comfort in uncertainty is used to an absolute advantage in Chanel. This song's connotation could easily be lost to the casual listener, but the lyrics are candidly expressive. The duality of the song reveals Ocean’s bisexuality and the expectations of gender expressions that are often linked together. "See both sides like Chanel” and “one that’s acting straight”, tell the story and the vocals stand front and centre, carried by production which is ghostly and almost fading. The mellow and fantastically elegant first few lines really stand out telling the listener about how his “guy is pretty like a girl and he got fight stories to tell“. The man has a typically feminine physique or personality but is trying to compensate by trying to display his masculinity by fighting. Again, the songs lyrics are a purposeful ode to non-heteronormative binaries. Expression of bisexuality isn’t usually the subject of R&B music but ‘Chanel’ breaks this mould; this is Ocean coming cleaner than ever.

GD

Gil Scott-Heron- Lady Day and John Coltrane

This song is one of those timeless songs that people will always be tapping their feet to, and that is why I love it. The opening riff is strong and catchy, reeling you in from the start. The vocals are deep, melodious and soulful and very much in contrast to Gil Scott-Heron’s previous work, which focused more on poetry and spoken word. 'Lady Day and John Coltrane'comes from Scott-Heron’s debut studio album and is greatly influenced by blues and jazz music, hence this song being written as an homage to legends Billie Holiday and John Coltrane. He referred to these influences as “bluesology, the science of how things feel” and demonstrates this with the jazzy vocals and rich instrumentation. One of the best aspects of the song is that the lyrics are talking about the capacity of music to relieve people of their personal issues such as detachment, whilst the song itself is making you feel relaxed and happy, distancing you from any problems.

GF

 

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