The first video from Frank Ocean’s Endless is now available to those who totally didn’t get away with swiping their roommate’s Apple Music password as soon as the clock struck midnight on August 19, and it’s a dizzying mosaic of powerful images that was well worth the wait.
With “Nikes,” Ocean threads several scenes straight out of a modern magic-surrealist novel together while singing of late-night trials and tribulations.
Reminders to never take pics at the party are partnered with crowded scenes of neon-lit, after-hours indulgence in the club; beautiful women are chlorine-soaked mermaids in fish tanks and hot tubs; Ocean sports slick eyeliner, dons a mask, and cruises through a sleeping city; a talking Chihuahua sends up shout-outs. A quick trinity of tributes has us halting on the dance floor for a minute, as A$AP Rocky holds up a portrait of A$AP Yams, an image of Pimp C is applauded in kind, and Ocean himself clutches at a photo of Trayvon Martin.
And this all goes down in the first two and a half minutes.
The tableaus that follow are just as dreamlike, all smoke and mirrorball reflections. The camera eventually cuts to Ocean onstage wearing what appears to be a pearl-bedecked jacket not unlike the outfits the Kardashians sported for Kanye’s Yeezy Season 3 event at Madison Square Garden. Did Ocean tap Yeezy x Balmain for “Nikes?” He did attend the presentation as well, so maybe this was a special order for this special clip.
That’s not all, though: Eventually, Ocean slows down, his skin spackled with glitter and the signs of a good — or, at the very least, eventful — night out, and he’s set aflame. It’s a lot to take in, and it meets the super high expectations we’ve had waiting for Endless to show up.