Pyramids | Frank Ocean

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This is Frank Ocean’s near 10 minute long tale of the ancient history of the Black woman, and her gradual decline from a Queen in her homeland to her now degrading role in the Western Hemisphere. She is no longer revered but used and abused by men who would have died to protect her honor many centuries ago.

The song makes reference to the historical Cleopatra, who brought dishonor to her country by becoming Marc Antony’s mistress. Marc Antony was a conqueror who wanted Egypt as Roman territory, which is how they crossed paths.

In Ocean’s song he narrates a similar happening with him and his woman. Now that she became a traitor and left him for the enemy, her decision has backfired on her—because she is not an entity of glory and honor anymore, but of dishonor. She is reduced to a common stripper who is now taking care of her man who has no job. It’s almost as if “the king” is paying her back for what she did, because the narrator speaks of his woman stripping to “keep a nigga bills paid.”

But there is still some kind of unhealthy love and devotion to one another because they still stay together, and are a couple so to speak. This song is literally a historical account of the Black man and woman in America and our slow fall from grace. From Gods to dogs, symbolically.

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