Written by Andrew Barr (@weeandreww)
One of the world’s biggest DJ’s and collaborators, a reclusive R&B crooner and a rapidly-ascending hip-hop trio slide together on a pop song hand-crafted for summer, about Pablo Picasso.
When Slide opens with a piano melody and a pitch-shifted vocal, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re listening to a track from Frank Ocean’s sophomore album Blonde, a record where he made this vocal effect yet another trait of his. “I might/empty my bank account/and buy that boy with a pipe”, the high-pitched vocal sings, a lyric that confused fans until Ocean himself posted on Genius lyrics, clarifying that boy with a pipe is a Picasso painting that sold for $104.2 million due to the fact it is a Picasso original, despite the fact it was not considered a masterpiece, introducing a theme of materialism, another trait of Ocean’s.
After the piano-led intro, an electro-beat typical of Calvin Harris takes over, which seems to have been engineered for driving to in summer with the windows down. However, the background beat and the slick production is the only real sign that this is Harris’ track, as he takes more of a back seat and allows Ocean and Migos to shine. Ocean’s natural voice is present for the first time in the chorus, punctuated by a pitch shifted “I might”. The first Ocean verse falls somewhere between rapping and singing, where he uses his trademark storytelling lyrical style to develop the theme of materialism
This is followed by two verses from two-thirds of Migos, firstly Quavo who delivers a short, auto-tuned verse which leads into a verse from Offset who name-drops Picasso over a much brighter backdrop than the trap beats Migos are famed for rapping over.
Another Ocean chorus then fades back into the pitch-shifted outro which closes one of the most subtle bangers of Harris’ career, which may just rival that new Daft Punk single for the “Sound of the Summer” accolade.