BY EMMA HUERTA
On Saturday, October 19, R&B singer and rapper extraordinaire Frank Ocean seemed to arise from the ashes, ascending like a phoenix, after releasing a single entitled “DHL.”
This newest single came after Ocean began his New York City queer nightclub project “PrEP+” on Thursday, October 17, alongside some “globally celebrated DJs,” where he also premiered some upcoming tracks. Two songs, titled “Cayendo” and “Dear April,” were released shortly after for vinyl purchase on blonded.co, Ocean’s merchandise site.
Much to the surprise of Frank Ocean fans everywhere, the usually “lowkey” artist did not stop there with the new additions to his discography. That Saturday, Ocean reinstated his “blonded” radio show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Live, reminiscing some tracks played at Thursday’s party and eventually releasing the new song for listeners.
“DHL” is Ocean’s first release of original music since 2017, when he similarly premiered singles such as “Chanel,” “Biking” featuring Jay-Z & Tyler, The Creator and “Lens” on his radio show. Thus, fans everywhere were both shocked and excited about his spontaneous return back into the music scene.
Ocean’s “DHL” hints at something bigger that’s upcoming for the artist.
The four-and-a-half-minute track is produced by German DJ/producer Boys Noize and features Ocean’s more rap-oriented musical side. The slow, yet enticing song is almost like a transcendence into another universe, with a very extraordinary beat accompanied by Ocean’s unmatched vocals and unforgettable verses.
The song also follows Ocean’s typical love-themed music, as he raps about a significant other and all the accompanying effects of that relationship. An example of such a theme is shown when Ocean raps, “We spent all that time alone/Alone watching the clouds roll,” resembling his feelings before the relationship.
Besides showing his appreciation for the international shipping company of the same name through verses like “Just got a pack, came from the DHL,” Ocean’s “DHL” hints at something bigger that’s upcoming for the artist. For instance, he echoes in the song that the recent music teases aren’t new, as he says things like “New files sitting on my drive/Nothing new, yeah.”
Another hint that’s been pointed out by fans is not within the song itself, but rather on its cover art. In the bottom right corner, underneath the main black-and-white photo picturing Ocean, there are 13 different silhouettes with the fourth one highlighted in black to correspond with this track’s photo. This design seems deliberately planned, perhaps teasing the release of 12 more songs in addition to “DHL,” or maybe even a new album.
Overall, Frank Ocean’s release of “DHL” was sure to stir up fans, due to both the attractive quality of the track itself and the impact it may have on the future of Ocean’s career. The latter, arguably, is the characteristic of “DHL” that has fans raving the most, as it seems to foreshadow something even bigger for the artist. Nevertheless, fans were not left empty-handed and Ocean’s abrupt re-entry into the public eye has everyone waiting to see what else is in store.
Photo courtesy of blonded.co