Frank Ocean is an idiosyncratic man, with undecipherable whims and hobbies. He drops music with an unparalleled irregularity, has been known to take up carpentry to build a staircase to nowhere, and writes lyrics that split the difference between hieroglyphics and novelistic streams-of-consciousness. Yet one of Ocean’s most public passions is his obsessive love of international courier and logistics companies. In 2017, he wore and sold “Worldnet” hoodies, which is a premium logistics company that’s been referred to by The New York Times as the “FedEx for the Fashion Crowd.” A year later, in one of the more unintentionally devastating examples of a celebrity probably leading a more boring life than we realize, the mercurial musician described the endorphin rush he gets from receiving mail in a GQ cover story.
“The new Christmas for me that makes me feel like a youngster is the night I come home from a long trip and I have boxes in the entrance to my apartment of things I forgot I had ordered or things people send me,” Ocean said. “That’s the new Christmas. I feel very blessed, grateful, and excited, happy chemicals rushing through my veins, when I walk into my apartment and I’ve got FedEx, DHL, UPS boxes, Worldnet boxes. As simple as that is. My box cutter is greasy from all the tape.”
Fittingly, Ocean’s new song, “DHL,” takes its name from the international arm of the German courier. It extends his love affair with massive logistics companies, but does very little to explain why they would be an R&B artist’s latest muse. Slow and meandering, “DHL” impressively mimics the feeling of waiting for a package from the non-musical DHL. “Just got a pack, came from DHL / Just caught up with a pack,” Frank repeatedly sings during the song’s chorus. Even the parts of the song that aren’t necessarily about shipping and receiving packages — “Fuck, this shit sound like it’s comin’ soon, comin’ soon, bro” and “Totin’ that Amazon” — still seems like they are.
One day, I hope to love something as much as Frank Ocean loves receiving packages.