Since the release of his mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra this past February, Frank Ocean has gone from a relatively unknown songwriter to the Internet’s best-kept secret, and now he may be poised to be music’s next big thing. But with Ocean choosing to do very little press, his appearance in Tyler, the Creator’s “She” video may be one of the only times many people have seen the Odd Future crooner besides a handful of press photos.
That all changed Thursday (June 16): The video for Ocean’s “Novacane,” one of Nostalgia’s many standout cuts, just hit the Web. The Nabil Elderkin-directed clip features Ocean in what looks like a dimly lit hotel suite. With each exhale of a joint, Ocean is surrounded by ghostly incarnations of beautiful women, tigers and pandas. At one point, Ocean smears what appears to be novocaine — or Procaine, for those out there with dentist parents — on his solemn-looking face.
The song is the first single from the Def Jam re-release of Ocean’s album, which arrives July 26. A track list for the re-release of the album has yet to appear, but the free version featured a variety of samples, from Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing” to the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” which may be difficult to clear. When MTV News caught up with Ocean at Coachella, even he joked that he was skeptical whether they’d be cleared.
“The Eagles sample has no chance in hell of being cleared,” Ocean said. “Coldplay sample, possibly. I hear ‘possibly’ from people who say they know. MGMT, those guys seem chill. I heard they heard the record and they liked it a lot, so hopefully that can go some way.
“Hopefully the sh– gets worked out. We might pull a Hail Mary and clear the Eagles’ record. They might want all of the publishing for the whole album, though, which can’t happen,” Ocean added.
Frank Ocean’s hit single “Novacane“
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