Cut Through the Noise: Frank Ocean, Rex Orange County, Gucci Mane (ft. Dababy, YoungBoy Never Broke Again)


Maddie Schutte

Welcome to “Cut Through the Noise,” an entertainment column from the St. Louis Park Echo covering new music releases. Every week, a different Echo staffer takes on the role as writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.


Frank Ocean  – ‘DHL’ ★★★★☆

Fair use from Blonded

Frank Ocean’s new track “DHL” made me more excited than ever for his upcoming album. The song starts out almost sounding as if it’s in slow motion, but still remains upbeat. This song isn’t the type you want to sing along to, but is more of a background song for when you need the specific Frank Ocean vibe. It’s the perfect nighttime-drive-through-the-city song. His confusing but symbolic lyrics were no surprise to me hearing this track for the first time. I love how he gets candid about his sexuality and dives into honest lyrics with confidence. In my eyes, Frank Ocean can’t do wrong with any song and he certainly didn’t with “DHL.” The best part has to be the second verse, where he shows off his flawless flow with raw lyrics. Frank doesn’t hold back in this verse with profanity and bold statements. If you’re an avid Frank Ocean listener, this song will fit like a puzzle piece with his sound, but still manage to surprise you.


Rex Orange County ‘Pluto Projector’ ★★★★☆

Fair use from Sony Music Entertainment

The title “Pluto Projector” for Rex Orange County’s latest single fits perfectly because it feels like I’m floating through space for the entirety of the song. This track has a beautiful and intricate sound that is both soft but slightly upbeat. Rex adds more instruments and sounds as the song progresses, which makes it a more interesting listen. If the overall sound of this song wasn’t good enough, Rex has outdone himself with the soulful and loving lyrics. He fantasizes about growing old with his significant other in a charming and comfortable way. The best part of this track has to be the calming, instrumental ending. As his voice fades out, more instruments come in, and finally ends with his voice once again, ending the song with a satisfying feeling. As much as this track is unique to the majority of mainstream music, it isn’t unique to the Rex Orange County sound. While still a great song, it almost has too similar of a sound to his other songs. Overall, this is a wholesome and warm listen that is a great introduction to any new Rex Orange County listener. 


Gucci Mane (ft. Dababy, YoungBoy Never Broke Again) ‘Richer Than Errybody’ ★☆☆☆☆

Fair use from Atlantic Recording Corporation

I was surprised to see “Richer Than Errybody” listed as one of the more popular songs off of Gucci Mane’s newest album, “Woptober II.” As much as I wanted to like this song, especially after seeing DaBaby as a feature, this song just wasn’t it for me. I’m tired of listening to rappers brag about money, it’s overdone and unoriginal. Nothing about these lyrics was interesting in the slightest. If there was a more hype beat to this song it would’ve been more enjoyable, but the dull sound and boring lyrics made an unfortunate duo. I have to say I liked DaBaby’s verse the best, but the lackluster beat didn’t give him much of an advantage over the other verses. I was excited to see Gucci Mane and DaBaby collaborate and their abilities had a lot of potential, though it wasn’t executed in this track.