Frank Ocean’s Pyramids

The song our group (ANTS) discussed in our Podcast was “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean.  This song was released in 2012 on the album Channel Orange.  The song was made readily available for download on June 8, 2012 on Frank Ocean’s Tumblr.  “Pyramids”  falls under the R&B/Pop genre and does an excellent job of collaborating the two genres.  Ocean’s song uses imagery of Cleopatra and an Egyptian Royal to illustrate a story of betrayal and conquest.  In the first part of the song, Cleopatra (Frank Ocean’s girl) is stolen from him by Samson and he is ordering his kingdom to find her.  In the second half of the song, the narrator, who was previously an Egyptian Royal, becomes a pimp and Cleopatra is now working for him. “Pyramid” does a nice job of using historical references to discuss current problems and issues both social and economic.  We also found that the beat and tone of both sections aided in what Ocean was trying to accomplish.  For example, during the break between part one and part two, the dreamy quality of the music seems to represent time travel, and the second part of the song represents modern society and current trends in tempo when compared to the first part, which is further removed from this modernity.  The lyrics in “Pyramids” also carry a lot of figurative language and meaning, which is discussed heavily in our accompanying podcast.


This website gave us information on the background of Ocean’s lyrics.  It pointed out all of the imagery and what each line meant.

This article from the New York Times gave us background information on Frank Ocean himself.  This was very helpful because it gave an inside look on his life and showed us a deeper side of Ocean that we wouldn’t have known otherwise.

This helped us learn more about the history of Samson in order for us to discuss Ocean’s use of this historical reference in our podcast.

Same as the Samson article this helped us learn more about Celeopatra in order for us to properly discuss her as a reference in Ocean’s song.

This website gave a short bibliography of Frank Ocean.  It was simple and to the point and helped us find some fun facts that we needed.  Such as the news that “Pyramids” was actually released for download on Ocean’s Tumblr blog.

This blog was done by: Amanda Pickens, Tracy Lee, Nina Narang and Sam Leighton


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