Super Rich Kids

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"Super Rich Kids"
Single by Frank Ocean featuring Earl Sweatshirt
from the album Channel Orange
Released March 11, 2013 (2013-03-11)[1]
Genre R&B, neo soul
Length 5:05[2]
Writer(s) Frank Ocean, Malay, Earl Sweatshirt, Kirk Robinson, Nathaniel Robinson Jr., Ray Hammond, Mark Morales, Mark Rooney
Producer(s) Malay
Frank Ocean singles chronology
"Lost"
(2012)
"Super Rich Kids"
(2013)
Earl Sweatshirt singles chronology
"Whoa"
(2013)
"Super Rich Kids"
(2013)
"Hive"
(2013)

"Super Rich Kids" is a song by American artist Frank Ocean, and the fifth single from his debut studio album, Channel Orange. It was first performed live by Ocean in 2011 and then on his channel ORANGE tour in 2012. The single was released in March 2013. The song is in the style of R&B and neo soul, and includes references to and samples of the songs "Bennie and the Jets" by Elton John and "Real Love" by Mary J. Blige. It addresses young, wealthy characters' ennui and fears of the financial crisis with dry humor. The song received positive critical responses and charted on the Billboard R&B Songs chart and the UK singles and R&B chart. The song also appeared on the TV show Gossip Girl and the film The Bling Ring.

Background[edit]

"Super Rich Kids" was written by Frank Ocean, Malay, Earl Sweatshirt, Kirk Robinson, Nathaniel Robinson Jr., Roy Hammond, Mark Morales and Mark Rooney[3] and produced by Malay.[4] Ocean and Malay came up with "Super Rich Kids" on their first day working together on Ocean's debut album, channel ORANGE.[5] According to Ocean, the 2000 film Traffic was an inspiration for the song.[6] Ocean first performed the song during his debut solo tour in 2011,[7] and later performed it on the Channel Orange tour.[8] The single release was originally announced on January 23, 2013. It was released in Britain on March 11,[1] and in the United States on the 17th.[9]

Composition[edit]

Music[edit]

"Super Rich Kids" is an R&B and neo soul ballad[10] set in common time and a slow half-time groove tempo of 60 beats per minute. The key the song is in is E♭ major, with a chord progression of E♭maj9−G♭6/A♭−D♭maj7−B♭7sus4−B♭aug followed throughout the song.[3] The song includes a piano part that references the thumping piano line of Elton John's 1973 song "Bennie and the Jets",[11][12] and horns and synth arpeggios are also present.[13] According to The Quietus, "a stomping piano and the steady smack of kickdrum anchors the ghostly crowd noise from a vast débutantes ball, as the synths quiver both nauseously and as subtly as candle-smoke in a floor draft."[14]

Lyrics[edit]

"Super Rich Kids" addresses young, wealthy characters' ennui and fears of the financial crisis with dry humor.[11][12] The song's chorus takes the lyrics from Mary J. Blige's "Real Love".[15] The track includes a verse from Earl Sweatshirt, which, according to Complex, is a reminder of Ocean as "OFWGKTA at the end of the day."[16] Paste Magazine said that "Earl's low verses push Ocean way up into his vocal range."[17]

According to Sound and Motion Magazine, the track

"is exactly as the title suggests; Frank’s view on the children of parents who have inherited massive trust funds without the grasp of what a huge responsibility it is and the good they could do. From expensive cars to a different woman every night, the alleged social elite stumble through a charmed existence where the real world is buffered from them and then they breed a new generation with the same attitude. The track also contains brief glimpses into what he perceives as an alternative view of loneliness and isolation where all the super rich want is a love that’s not about money or anything material."[18]

"Super Rich Kids" is described by Muso's Guide as "a contemporary version of a Jay McInerney novel,"[19] and by The Independent as "something Carole King knocked out in the 1970s."[20] HipHopDX.com said that "at no point are the lyrics judgemental. If anything they’re compassionate."[21]

Critical reception[edit]

The single was positively reviewed by critics. Sound and Motion magazine said that it "could easily be listened to repeatedly or just set on in the background for an evening's entertainment."[18] Muso's Guide said the song "could be viewed as one of those tail end singles from a brilliant album that doesn't stand strong on its own (Can anyone remember 'Until The End of Time' from FutureSex/LoveSounds or 'Broken-Hearted Girl' from I am ... Sasha Fierce?). Ocean, proving his talent as a songwriter, and a jaded voice for this frustrated introspective generation is able to find something profound from a superficial world."[19] The song became an Editor's Pick on djbooth.net.[4]

Critical reactions of the song in reviews of channel ORANGE were also positive. Time called the track a "stand out, tying together the album’s two themes of class and love."[22] Billboard, in a track-by-track review, said that "the steadiness of the beat is immediately familiar but wholly fresh -- it's like Ocean snatched 'Benny and the Jets' and threw the composition down a trap door into another universe."[23] No Ripcord said that "it's so incongruous against the crass commercialism and consuming greed that pervades so much of popular culture that it's astonishing."[24]

Complex listed Earl Sweatshirt's appearance in the song #15 on their "25 Best Guest Verses of 2012".[16]

In other media[edit]

"Super Rich Kids" appeared on the Gossip Girl episode "Monstrous Ball", along with four other Frank Ocean tracks: "Lost", "Pyramids", "Sweet Life" and "Thinkin Bout You".[25] The song also appears as the seventeenth track on the soundtrack for the film The Bling Ring.[26] The song was also covered by Misha B.[27]

Lawsuit[edit]

In 2014, record label TufAmerica filled a copyright lawsuit against Vivendi and Universal Music Group for the sampling of Mary J. Blige's "Real Love" in "Super Rich Kids". This was because, according to the lawsuit, the sample included a sample of "Impeach the President".[28]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[29] 145
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[30] 20
US R&B Songs (Billboard)[31] 23
US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles (Billboard)[32] 4

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b R.Kelly & Justin Bieber Hang Out Like Besties + Prince Drops New Music "Screwdriver" + Frank Ocean's Next Single "Super Rich Kids". The YBF. January 23, 2013. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Channel ORANGE by Frank Ocean. iTunes. Accessed from October 29, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Frank Ocean - Super Rich Kids Sheet Music - Download and Print. Musicnotes.com. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Frank Ocean - Super Rich Kids. djbooth.net. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  5. ^ Himmelman, James (February 7, 2013). Frank Ocean Can Fly. The New York Times. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  6. ^ Ocean-ography. GQ. December 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
  7. ^ Frank Ocean Debuts "Super Rich Kids". Rap Radar. November 16, 2011. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  8. ^ Frank Ocean’s ‘channel ORANGE’ Tour Rolls Into L.A. (Video). Rap Up. July 18, 2012. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "Singles Release Diary". Digital Spy. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ Hamm, Ryan (July 20, 2012). Frank Ocean: Channel Orange (Def Jam). Under the Radar. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (July 11, 2012). "Frank Ocean: Channel Orange – review". The Guardian. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  12. ^ a b Richard, Chris (July 10, 2012). "Music review: Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange'". The Washington Post. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  13. ^ Youssef, Sobhi (July 15, 2012). Frank Ocean - Channel Orange. SputnikMusic. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  14. ^ Calvers, John (July 3, 2012). The Future's Bright: Frank Ocean's Channel Orange Track-by-Track. The Quietus. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  15. ^ Lee, Christina (May 4, 2013). Michael Buble Sings Frank Ocean’s “Super Rich Kids”: Watch. Idolator. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  16. ^ a b Andrew Martin, Ernest Baker (December 29, 2012). 15. Earl Sweatshirt on Frank Ocean's "Super Rich Kids". Complex. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  17. ^ Billings, Lake (July 18, 2012). Frank Ocean: Channel Orange. Paste. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  18. ^ a b Single Review: Frank Ocean feat Earl Sweatshirt- Super Rich Kids. Sound and Motion Magazine. March 21, 2013. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  19. ^ a b Wink, Richard (March 1, 2013). Single Review : Frank Ocean – Super Rich Kids. Muso's Guide. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  20. ^ Price, Simon (July 15, 2012). Album: Frank Ocean, Channel Orange (Def Jam). The Independent. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  21. ^ Reyes, Jon (July 13, 2012). Frank Ocean - Channel Orange. HipHopDX.com. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  22. ^ Locker, Melissa (July 10, 2012). Frank Ocean Pours His Heart Out on Channel Orange: Album Review. Time. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  23. ^ Frank Ocean, 'Channel Orange': Track-By-Track Review. Billboard. July 10, 2012. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  24. ^ Rivers, Joe (August 6, 2012). Frank Ocean: Channel ORANGE. No Ripcord. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  25. ^ D. Kennedy, Gerrick (November 8, 2012). 'Gossip Girl' to feature songs from Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange'. Los Angeles Times. Accessed from June 2, 2013.
  26. ^ 'The Bling Ring' Soundtrack: Sofia Coppola Film Features Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Phoenix. The Huffington Post. May 17, 2013. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  27. ^ Bridgewater, Paul (March 27, 2013). Watch Misha B in session covering Frank Ocean’s ‘Super Rich Kids’. thelineofbestfit.com. Accessed from July 10, 2013.
  28. ^ Gardner, Eriq (February 10, 2014). "Hollywood Docket: Frank Ocean Sampling; 'Happy Birthday' Litigation; 'Hobbit' Settlement". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  29. ^ Zywietz, Tobias. "Chart Log UK: New Entries Update – 16.03.2013 (Week 10)". zobbel.de. Tobias Zywietz. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ "2013-03-16 Top 40 R&B Singles Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Frank Ocean - Chart History: R&B Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Frank Ocean – Chart History: Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 1, 2013. 

External links[edit]