Novacane

Album: Nostalga, Ultra (2011)
Charted: 82
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Songfacts®:

  • Christopher Breaux is an American singer-songwriter from New Orleans who records under the name of Frank Ocean. He moved from his home city to Los Angeles in August 2005 to pursue a music career and landed a contract with Def Jam Recordings as an artist with the help of Tricky Stewart. However, he was initially unable to build a relationship with the company and joined the controversial hip hop collective, OFWGKTA whom he'd met through mutual friends.

    Ocean has written songs for a number of well known acts including Beyoncé Knowles ("I Miss You" from the album 4), as well as appearing on a couple of tracks on Kanye West and Jay-Z collaborative album, Watch The Throne. Ocean's debut mixtape Nostalga, Ultra was self-released February 18, 2011 via his personal blog. On July 26, 2011 Def Jam released tracks from the mixtape as his debut EP. This dark and moody tune was released as the first single from the record.
  • Ocean explained the mixtape's title in an interview with Complex magazine: "It's nostalgic. It's a longing for the past. That's what this record felt like. I named it five minutes before we finished mastering. Right before we had to write the labels on the CDs and get out of there. Ultra, because it's also modern because of the sonics of it. It felt right. That's how I am. I just go with it. The only big debate was whether I was going to use the slash or the comma, but the comma felt right, too."
  • Much of Nostalga, Ultra was inspired by the ending of a relationship. Ocean told Complex magazine: "Going through heartbreak was new for me. I wasn't trying to make a record that people could relate to. I was just trying to make a record with the s--t that I wanted to express. The s--t that I wanted to get off my chest. Everybody has a unique experience, but it's a feeling that's so human that others can relate to it. A lot of this record is influenced by one relationship, but I don't owe that whole project to one situation. It doesn't matter what the details of it are."
  • For those of you who aren't dentists, novocaine, also known as Procaine, is a local anesthetic drug, which was first synthesized in 1905. It is the oldest man-made local anesthetic still in clinical use for injection and is used in dentistry as a numbing agent. This song finds Ocean singing about feeling spiritually numbed by meaningless sex after an encounter with a dental student.
  • The music video was directed by Nabil Elderkin who also worked on projects for Bruno Mars, "Grenade" and Diddy "Someone To Love Me."
  • The song features production from The-Dream's right-hand man, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, the guy behind the hit singles "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)" and "Umbrella."

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