Alex Rincon
Mr. Hartman
English/Period 4
31 October 2018
Song Lyric Analysis Essay
Frank Ocean has continued the new genre trend of Alternative R&B which only started in 1999 with people like Erykah Badu and D’Angelo. Alternative R;B is influenced by many different genres like electronic, indie music, dubstep, and even hip hop and lyrics are usually philosophical, thoughtful and sometimes kind of dark(Independent, Alternative R;B). In 2003 the Grammys introduced a new award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance and that award went to India Arie with the song “Little Things”. Then 9 years later they discontinued that award and it caused a lot of controversy. Then three days later Frank Ocean dropped his alternative R;B album “Nostalgia, Ultra” and “Chanel Orange” the next year which won the first ever Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album in 2013 and that award is still around (Tiki Tiki History of Alternative R;B). Many of the artist in this genre dont like term Alternative R;B because they don’t feel as if its R&B but that it’s a whole new Genre not a add on to R;B(The quietus Frank Ocean article).
Frank Ocean doesn’t confine to just R&B or a R&B sub-genre because he jumps from genre to genre in a single song and it’s more than R;B or soul or rap or hip hop. Frank Ocean’s songs are like stories with lessons he’s learned from his past relationships and encounters with specific characters from his first love, to unreasonable police officers. Franks music is filled with emotions, memories,and moods sung out of his point of view. After “Nostalgia, Ultra” Odd Future went after Frank Ocean to sign to the label with them and he did so Tyler the Creator and Pharrell are both big influences on Frank’s Music. Also Frank was a ghostwriter for Beyonce and Justin Bieber and starting his music career with Jay Z and Kanye West in 2011. In Frank’s music he speaks on how police treat minorities comparison to white people fights for equal LGBT rights in America.

Is Frank Ocean’s song “Thinking Bout You” he is literally just trying to let his partner know he’s been thinking about him all the time but he’s really trying to understand if his partner has been thinking of him as well and Frank figuring out relationships can’t be one sided because their future was indefinite. Frank Ocean is having trouble getting this person off his mind during a break up or right before one but many people experience this in relationships that they can’t really ever understand how that persons feeling or what their thinking about. Frank Ocean wants his partner to open up to him and communicate how their feeling about each other. Frank uses a confused and sarcastic tone to emphasize how he can’t change someone’s feelings but he can’t figure out if they have mutual feelings and jokes around with it.

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Frank has the moral argument that real love can’t be bought with the reference to George Strait’s song ” Oceanside Property” saying “cause I don’t love you and now if you’ll buy that I got some ocean front property in Arizona” and Frank Ocean says ” Gotta a beach house I could sell you in Idaho” (Frank Ocean Thinkin Bout You”) even though there’s no beaches in Idaho or Arizona. This is arguing that Frank would give his partner the impossible the make them love them but it doesn’t work like that. And since Frank Ocean has the highest net worth of any artist in his specific genre so you can assume that he has a lot of money to spend on his boyfriend but obviously that wasn’t enough. He uses anaphora to emphasise how he doesn’t know how to make his relationship work out asking “do ya?”(Frank Ocean Thinkin Bout You”)repeatedly throughout the song to ask if his long time boyfriend knows what they need to work out. Frank seems to feel as if he’s steady looking in the future with their relationship and he can’t understand what his boyfriend is feeling.
Franks feels as if emotionally they didn’t “grow up on the same advice “(Frank Ocean Self Control) and this makes them unable to communicate each others feeling about one another. He makes the comparison that love is like a fighter jet that you can’t fly (Frank Ocean Thinkin Bout You”) implying that love can be a great thing but can also really hurt you the most. He also indirectly informs his partner that he’s always thinking about their future while they were only thinking about the present ( Frank Ocean Behind the Lyrics). Frank describes love in a very irregular way but it makes the argument that love can’t ever be fully controlled one sidedly in his opinion. He also is signifying love as a fighter jet typically used for war so possible he’s saying their love was a steady conflict or fighting. Frank Ocean is definitely known for using emotion in his music but this song shows a lot of passion about his friendship with this person.
In this song it really uses no logical judging by him having a beach house in idaho, a fighter jet, and him having a tornado in his room and him not crying but just pouring his eyes out.But Frank Ocean’s “Thinking Bout You” is most definitely still relevant in 2018 just as much as in 2012 because the idea of wondering if you and your partner are on the same page will always be relevant because that’s how most relationships go. This song and many more on his album won him a well deserved grammy for standing out and influencing Alternative R&B music and influence new artist in the genre like SZA, Drake, and The Weeeknd. This song is his most played, most download, and most praised song for a reason and his a deeper meaning than at first listen and is definitely worth listening to,

Works Cited

Genius , Rap. “Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You.” Genius, Genius Media Group, 17 Apr. 2012,

Holly Rubenstein @HollyRubenstein, Gina. “Alternative R;B: Much More than Bump’n’grind.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 20 Feb. 2014,

Smith, Frank. “Features | Escape Velocity | ‘Imagery, And A Little Bit Of Satire’: An Interview With Frank Ocean.” The Quietus,


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