Frank Ocean’s new ” CHANEL, ” a song that does deserve attention, though — something that feels entirely more important than “more chune for your head top” — is Frank Ocean’s new “CHANEL.” The boastful first few bars of Ocean’s song might be the coldest, gayest, and most securely masculine flex in rap history. 

Elegant and mellow, the song’s lyrics read as a deliberate ode to duality and non-heteronormative binaries. This ambition has been sorely missed in black music since the death of Prince Rogers Nelson.

During the summer of 2016, Ocean released two projects. The visual album “Endless” quickly was followed by “Blonde,” which included a photography-based ‘zine called Boys Don’t Cry. This was followed by “Slide,” an infectious collaboration with Calvin Harris and the Migos. After all that content, the last thing Ocean’s fans expected from the otherwise frustratingly elusive artist — this soon — was more Frank Ocean.

Yet, that’s exactly what happened on the second episode of his Beats1 radio show. And this Ocean seems bolder than before — and not exclusively because this Ocean premiered his new track 18 times in a row with three different endings for an hour straight. 

The Frank in that opening line — My guy pretty like a girl — is less reserved about what we know of his sexuality while remaining sure of his masculinity. Pretty like a girl and having fight stories to tell? The exact mood fills the frame as Chiron sits across from Kevin with his head tilted, forgiving eyes wide.

Unlike some of his other songs — such as “Thinking Bout You” and “Bad Religion” — that vaguely emote affection for other men, “CHANEL” needs no further deciphering. This new line in this new song is one of the few spots in Ocean’s catalog where his sexual fluidity goes beyond a strategically placed “he” or “him.” Aside from maybe “Forrest Gump” or “Good Guy,” this latest track might be the most comfortable he’s been addressing his relationships with men since his infamous Tumblr letter. 

And, if we’re being honest, those other two songs are somewhat easy to miss. Given that it’s the last song on the album, you could ostensibly cut Channel Orange off before “Forrest Gump” even starts to play. And “Good Guy” is a 67-second interlude.

It would take a particular, dedicated type of anti-gay person to pretend the bars aren’t crazy good on “CHANEL.” As with most of Ocean’s lyrics, not only does that initial line hit home with true-to-life simplicity, but it also feels poignant and timely. His guy is pretty as a girl, and he got fight stories to tell. Whoever that guy is, it’s hard to imagine that black boy doesn’t look blue in the moonlight.

The article was adapted from