Who Is "Godspeed" About? Frank Ocean's New Song Is Clearly About Someone Special
After keeping his fans in suspense, Frank Ocean finally released his new album. Called Blonde, it includes some of the artist's best work yet. One track that stands out is "Godspeed," which features well-known gospel singer Kim Burrell. But you may be wondering, who is "Godspeed" about? Although the exact source of inspiration is unknown, the song is definitely something special — and about someone special — to the 28-year-old. In a Tumblr post Ocean published to coincide with the album release, he wrote,
I wrote a story in the middle—It’s called “Godspeed.” It's basically a reimagined part of my boyhood. Boys do cry, but I don't think I shed a tear for a good chunk of my teenage years. It's surprisingly my favorite part of life so far. Surprising, to me, because the current phase is what I was asking the cosmos for when I was a kid. Maybe that part had its rough stretches too, but in my rearview mirror it's getting small enough to convince myself it was all good. And really though... It's still all good.
So, what does this tell fans about the track? It may not straight-up say who the song is about, but it makes it clear it's about a meaningful person in his life growing up. What I'm taking that to mean is that he's giving himself closure with someone, by going back and saying what he wishes he could have said as a boy.
With lyrics like "I will always love you," and "Wishing you godspeed, glory ... I'll always be there for you," it's like the song is a letter saying goodbye and wishing this person all the best. In the lyric annotations on Genius, it's speculated the inspiration is an unrequited love and context clues seemingly confirm that. Genius also notes that the song as about someone who's a "positive motivating force" in his life.
Another lyrical clue about this someone is that it's likely a person who is no longer in his life, but who will always have a place in his heart. In some ways, it's like the song is letting himself move on and say the things he wish he could have back then. Ocean sings,
I let go of my claim on you, it's a free world You look down on where you came from sometimes But you'll have this place to call home, always
Because it's such a personal track, it's almost better that it's left open to interpretation. As an artist, there's certain parts of his life he likely wants to share, but by not naming names, it still lets him maintain that privacy and keep the specialness close to his heart.
Regardless of who it's about, it's a great song. Going to go listen to it again ASAP.