White Ferrari Meaning - The Intent Behind Frank Ocean's Song Thursday December 8 2022, 11:45 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
White Ferrari Meaning - The Intent Behind Frank Ocean's Song

White Ferrari Meaning

Frank Ocean's hookless song from his critically acclaimed project "Blonde" is one of those songs that could be interpreted in a million different ways, and that's the beauty of it.

Before I go into the overall themes and overarching message in this track, I want to let you know that there are dozens of different correct answers to what this song is about.

It's one of those types of tracks that are supposed to hit each one of the listeners a little bit differently but will still hit everyone in the same type of gut-wrenching feeling, if you know what I mean. 

Cars And Purity 

Firstly, those familiar with the singer Frank Ocean know that he has a soft spot for cars when it comes to his creative expression through music.

He states in an interview, "We live in cars in some cities, commuting across space either for our livelihood or devouring fossil fuels for joy. It's close to as much time as we spend in our beds, more for some."

When it comes to this song in particular, most song critics and interpreters will agree that the white is meant to signal a sense of purity and youth.

Throughout all the verses, he is speaking about a relationship with a love interest, which verifies the fact that this track is about young love. 

Early in the song, he sings, "Sweet 16, how was I supposed to know anything?"

The Message In The Music

To echo the message of young love provided in the lyrics, the music itself features a rich synth in a major key, while Frank seems to pour his heart out with a tinge of sorrow over the smooth and percussion-less instrumentation. 

The intimacy between the lead vocal, the backing vocal, and the simplistic chord structure in the song really brings out the raw feelings of reminiscing over something (or someone) bittersweet.

The climactic parts where he belts and backing vocals come in behind him really bring the depth of that feeling home. 

Frank Ocean didn't reveal much about this song's interpretation, but he left one golded clue about how he wanted the track to make listeners feel. He wanted the track to give off a feeling of nostalgic peace.

He told The New York Times that there were at least 50 versions of this song and that his younger brother's favorite didn't make the final cut.

"I have a 15-year-old little brother, and he heard one of the versions, and he's like, 'You gotta put that one out, that's the one'," Ocean said. "And I was like, 'Naw, that's not the version,' because it didn't give me peace yet."

The Overall Message In The Lyrics 

While the many verses can be interpreted and broken down line by line in several ways, there is a clear theme that the lyrics follow from beginning to end.

Frank is telling a story about how love blooms at first and then how it gets complicated once you're in the thick of it. 

The first few lines explain how Frank could barely express how he felt to this mystery person he cared about in his teen years, driving them around without a care, knowing that it could be risky and end in heartbreak. 

"Bad luck to talk on these rides; mind on the road, your dilated eyes watch the clouds float, white Ferrari, had a good time."

But towards the end of the song, you can hear where the strain in the relationship comes into play as the lovers have completely different opinions on the outlook of life. 

You’re tired of movin', your body's achin'. We could vacay; there are places to go. Clearly, this isn't all that there is."

The disconnect is evident, although it isn't clear why Frank's character is the one trying to move on to bigger and better things, while the lover is seemingly getting weary in the relationship and becomes more pessimistic with their outlook.

Almost all of us have experienced a relationship in our younger years where there was a similar type of disconnect between our partner and us.

Even if we relate more to the lover in the story instead of Frank's character, the feelings are still there and intense. 

That lasting feeling leaves a mark like the "tattooed eyelids on a facelift" that Frank mentions in the song, and those memories stay with you, and can even transport you back into that precious and eerily peaceful space; your White Ferrari. 


Different Interpretations 

The message can differ depending on who is listening to the lyrics that Frank sings throughout his verses.

These bars are perfectly crafted with double and even sometimes triple-entendre that allows Frank to bear his heart in a way that people can relate to, as well as not 100% pin down his thoughts. 

"You left when I forgot to speak, so I text to speech, lesser speeds."

A line like this could hit so many different people in so many ways. One could say that the love interest was a male, and he was hiding his same-sex emotions but continued to display his feelings via text instead.

Another person could say this is a common scenario where one lover left because the other didn't know how to express themselves, but that seemingly emotionally vacant lover at least tries to connect via text, where they can move at a slower and more comfortable pace. 

A later line states, "I'm sure we're taller in another dimension; you say we're small and not worth the mention".

This could also take on so many different meanings depending on the life that the person who is listening to the song has led.

One could say that Frank's character in the lyrical story is saying, "we could work out in another world," while the lover is shrugging off the rejection with a cold comeback. 

You could also interpret this as two individuals with vastly different outlooks on life, where one is more optimistic while the other is more nihilistic.

This ties into the last few lines, which can hit people differently:

"You dream of walls that hold us imprisoned. It's just a skull, at least that's what they call it, and we're free to roam."

Frank's character in the lyrics implies that at this stage in the relationship, he sees them as closed-minded and wishes that they would be more open to the capabilities of our minds.

But relationships end in so many ways because one party felt the other was being closed-minded about something. 

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Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her recent collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

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