“White Ferrari” from the 2016 album Blonde by Frank Ocean describes an experience in which two lovers go on a car ride. To me, the car ride is a metaphor for a relationship in which each person has differing views but how none of it matters to them because the journey makes it all worth it. Songs, just like poetry illustrate an experience for the reader. The way Ocean constructs his song through diction and syntax can help deepen the readers experience if they have been in love with someone who had different values and thought about life differently or broaden their experience by making them feel that they are in the relationship, understanding how Ocean feels throughout it.
The song stars by setting the scene and describing how the lovers used to be.
Sweet sixteen, how was I supposed to know anything? We're both so familiar.
In just the first couple of lines, Ocean is able to convey both their innocence and their relationship towards one another. The mention of the sweet 16 indicates that he was naive, not knowing of everything yet. The line about their familiarity suggests that they fell in love at a young age, or at least were close in their teenage years. The song continues to acknowledge their growing relationship.
I care for you still and I will forever That was my part of the deal, honest We got so familiar Spending each day of the year, White Ferrari Good times
The two have blossomed together, still remaining very close and he makes it clear that he is in it for the long run. They begin to hang out every day and he wants it to last forever, and plans on being there for her. The “White Ferrari” that is implemented into this verse, as in many other parts of the song, continues the metaphor. They are driving in a White Ferrari, almost watching their relationship as they drive. The relationship is good and happy, just like a nice car ride through a scenic place. Finally, the song talks about how they view both their relationship and the world differently.
I'm sure we're taller in another dimension You say we're small and not worth the mention
These lines hold lots of meaning, just as lines in a traditional poem do. Ocean himself believes that somewhere, not in reality, they are greater. Himself, her, and their love together is even bigger. She disagrees and thinks that their love and themselves as people are minuscule and not anything great. These lines conveys an importance greater then themselves as people and speaks to their views on their potential and the world. This creates a divide between them, another similar line being, “You dream of walls that hold us in prison.” They have different views of the world and what they can become. The song ends with Ocean’s own opinion on this difference.
Clearly this isn't all that there is Can't take what's been given But we're so okay here, we're doing fine
Through these lines it is clear that Ocean craves something more in life. He is in denial that “this is it” and he wants more. He then acknowledges the relationship once more and states that they are good and that it is good enough for him. He knows she thinks differently then he does and this life is good enough for her. While it isn’t for him, she is good enough for him. Throughout the song the reader is able to see that she means a lot to him, and their relationship has evolved from a very young age. Through Ocean’s poetic syntax and diction, the reader comes to understand their relationship, the similarities, the differences, the good and the bad throughout the duration of the car ride in a White Ferrari.