When Frank Ocean gave us a visual album, a music video, a new album and a magazine all in one weekend last year, I was worried we wouldn’t hear from him again for a decade. We didn’t have to wait a decade. Last night, Calvin Harris aka Taylor Swift’s ex, aka the dude who changed his name so it sounded more “racially ambiguous” (never forget), aka The Worst released his new single Slide featuring Frank Ocean and Migos.
As much as I want to hate every song Calvin Harris drops, I can’t sh-t on this. I would love to give all the credit to Ocean and Migos for making Harris likeable but the production is solid. When Lainey texted me about Slide, she said, “I hate myself but I like it.” It’s more of an addictive radio hit than the over-the-top club bangers we’re used to from Harris. It’s smooth in a lazy, lounging at the beach way. The song opens with a piano melody that is undeniably beautiful and some heavily synthesized vocals I can’t get out of my head even though I couldn’t figure out what the lyrics were at first. Those vocals belong to Frank and his intro verse goes like this:
I might empty my bank account/ And buy that boy a wooden pipe/ Buy that boy a wooden pipe/ I might, I might
Those lyrics might be romantic, they might not. Frank has written love songs to men and women. He has been open about falling in love with men. I mention this because after Frank perfectly croons on the chorus, Migos comes in. Quavo and Offset co-wrote the song with Ocean and Harris. I wrote about Migos earlier this month after they said some super dumb, homophobic bullsh-t to Rolling Stone. Migos apologized but the damage has been done. I wrote that we must expect and demand that Migos do better. The Atlanta trio is the most promising and exciting rising group in hip-hop. They don’t get a pass for their comments and their misguided words probably will and should follow them for their whole career. Does working on a song with Frank Ocean, the openly sexually fluid, one of the greatest artists of our generation, make it all better? Nope. But here’s hoping working with Frank opened some much-needed dialogue with Quavo and Offset so the next time they are asked to comment on someone’s sexuality, they pause and think before they say the dumb sh-t.
Migos is still Migos though so lyrically, there’s not a lot of depth on Slide. Of course there isn’t. There’s the signature Migos flow, lots of references to diamonds and a few “bitches.” I should probably hate it. I can’t. It’s too good. I’ve listened to it about 6 times in a row now. Does that make me a bad feminist?
In the lead up to the release of Slide, Calvin Adam Wiles Harris tweeted this:
All my songs in 2017 have been sonically designed to make you feel fucking incredible— Calvin Harris (@CalvinHarris) February 22, 2017
God, he’s such a douche but he’s not wrong – at least about this song. It’s making me feel pretty damn good. Frank Ocean’s credit on the song reads, "Frank Ocean appears courtesy of Frank Ocean” since he no longer has a label. So, to make me feel better about loving Slide so much, I’m just going to say that the joy it’s bringing me is “courtesy of Frank Ocean.”