Be Yourself: Frank Ocean crafts songs that are familiar and ambivalent


This is the final installment of artist-themed playlists for Toking Tunes. We’re rounding it off with ten tracks from Frank Ocean.

Frank Ocean has a conflicted relationship with drugs — particularly on his record Blonde. On the interlude ‘Be Yourself,’ the voice acting as his mother says: “Do not smoke marijuana, do not consume alcohol. Do not get in the car with someone who is inebriated.” On the following track ‘Solo,’ he sings about dropping acid. It’s this kind of cognitive dissonance that makes the album so compelling. You’re always second guessing Frank’s position.

We’ve all heard the voice of Ocean’s interlude in some real-life capacity – someone claiming your weed consumption makes you “ sluggish, lazy, stupid, and unconcerned.” Listening to Blonde can ease the annoyance of this kind of idiocy. Frank Ocean’s self-awareness and introspective lyrics are an antidote to such bothersome assertions and a great asset for self acceptance, too.

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