Frank Ocean’s Crack Rock: This Generation’s Like a Rolling Stone

Frank’s taking over the world.

Frank Ocean’s 2012 album Channel Orange has helped Frank in his world takeover. Crack Rock, a dope track off of Channel Orange, is this generation’s Like a Rolling Stone. Believe it.

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange

Crack Rock is track 8, but tracks 1-17 are fire.

The directly confrontational tone in both songs stands out

Like A Rolling Stone: “How does it feel?”

Crack Rock: “How’s the gutter doing?”

In both songs, Bob Dylan and Frank Ocean don’t sing in general terms, and are quite hostile in their tones to the people they’re singing to.  Even though the tunes are generally pleasant, the words definitely ain’t. You either feel bad for yourself listening to them, or you’ve inserted someone in your own life into them and are loudly singing along. These don’t come off as general messages about the human condition, but as personal messages definitely pointed at someone in particular. In a weird way, that makes them more relatable.

The messages are similar

Like a Rolling Stone: “Now you don’t talk so loud, now you don’t seem so proud, about having to be scrounging for your next meal”

Crack Rock: “You’re shuckin’ and jivin’, stealin’ and robbin’, to get the fixing that you’re itching for, your family stopped inviting you to things, won’t let you hold the infant”

Both songs address someone who karma has come around to bite, and Dylan and Frank are taking no small joy in rubbing it in. The songs are almost celebrations of justice, and can almost be (crudely) summed up as “bad things happen to bad people.” Frank and Dylan aren’t talking to people who have fallen on hard times through bad luck or something, but rather taking pleasure in someone’s deserved downfall.

Most importantly, both are real dope

Like a Rolling Stone and Crack Rock are songs that everyone, regardless of their music preference, should really enjoy. They’re raw, emotional masterpieces that are examples of music at its best. Channel Orange will live on for a while, and I think Crack Rock is at least a small reason why. Bob Dylan was a major force in shaping music in his time, and Frank Ocean has already been said to have started a revolution in R&B. 10 years from now when people talk about Frank like they talk about Dylan, come back to this article to see where it all started. Just trust me on this one.

Spit Talking

2 comments on “Frank Ocean’s Crack Rock: This Generation’s Like a Rolling Stone

  1. Nick U. December 9, 2014 3:03 pm

    What a connection! You’re right. That tone of resentment, or hostility, seem to make these songs deeply personal and karmatic (I just made that up). I love the analysis and hope the far-out connections continue to bring us all together. Keep up the good work mon ami!

    • Joaquin December 9, 2014 4:37 pm

      Exactly, like they’re just literally kicking them while they’re down and celebrating it. And Karmatic is definitely a word now, I mean if Shakespeare can do it… But thanks Nick, and thanks for joining the list 🙂

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