In anticipation for Frank Ocean’s upcoming LP, Channel Orange, he gives the first single from the project called “Pyramids.” At first listen, the song may confuse a lot of people who are new to Frank’s style. There’s a bunch of talk about cheetahs, Cleopatra, followed by Frank speaking about a girl in his hotel room and ending with a great guitar solo performed by John Mayer. However, to the usual Frank listener we know that he has to ability to dissect and find the exact description of emotion. “Pyramids” is no different but it’s a different kind of song than we’re used to by Ocean. A song that has layered meanings which could be a result of working with the king of this practice, Jay-Z.
“Pyramids,” to me, is out of order. It’s chopped up like a Quentin Tarantino movie. If I were to rearrange the track, it would go: Ocean in the hotel, waking up with this female, the guitar solo, and then the Cleopatra/Cheetah scene. When it’s put in this order, it’s easier to realize it’s about broken love and insecurity because of the inadequacies of Frank’s character.
In the order that I’ve established for the song, Ocean is with this woman, but he is insecure of their relationship because of his inability to provide for her. In typical fashion of many songs these days, there is a transition phase, Mayer’s guitar solo, that acts as the bridge between two stories (for more information on this, see JT’s FutureSex/LoveSounds album). After that one of a kind guitar solo, the story picks up with Ocean on a search for his woman in a dream once she has gone to work possibly in an environment that has many suitors that are more capable than he is. This is the part when his insecurities get the best of him. The dream scene ends with the lines “Bad dreams, Cleopatra.” Since the song is in it’s order, it forces this continues cycle of dreams and reality.
This is just my opinion, and I know I’ve been wrong since 1985. I didn’t want to get into any hidden meanings and include a historical perspective because that’s when people start throwing around that Illuminati garbage. That’s the beautiful thing about music, you can see the meanings in the simplest lyrics.