“Round the city, Round the clock”: The Significance of “Nights” (to my life)

I’m not going to talk about how phenomenal this album is. Everyone knows how beautifully structured the tracklist is, production, writing etc. (I BELIEVE this album would’ve won Album of the Year at the Grammys this year but… who actually cares about the Grammys nowadays). Rather, I’m going to discuss one track that gets a lot of analyses and what it means to me.

When I first heard “Nights”, I thought it was an odd mix being placed amongst a group of bare, more slower songs. However, as I listened to the album more and more, I started to believe that this is what the album needed… a jump start track that sounds like what could be the day in the life of the singer from “Good Guy”*. As I became more acquainted with the album after a few listens, I noticed that I was choosing this song Tuesday – Sunday most days at approximately 4:40pm. What’s funny is that this was (still is) the time I’d get in my car to work my night shift at my job. Was this song speaking to me? Perhaps.

If you’ve ever worked nights at a job that has nothing to do with your career path (let’s say 6 out of 7 nights), you know how irritating they can get especially when you have a greater hustle you are trying to pursue. I know for myself, what kept me going through these tiring nights was the mindset that I was doing this only to fund my main hustle (which was the production of my album). I’d walk into the building of my job with the mindset of “whatever negative thoughts run through your mind, do not let them phase you once you leave” (that “shut the f*ck up I don’t want your conversation” mind without actually being rude to people… a lot of my coworkers are straight up awesome)**. What I found though was that I was leaving my job physically and mentally drained on most days and not wanting to go out with friends after. On top of that, I was recording during any off time I had and even sometimes after my shifts (also practicing for my Amateur Night at the Apollo performance). “What does this have anything to do with the song ‘Nights’?” is what you’re probably asking. Allow me to give you my explanation.

VaporNight.jpgPhoto from Vaporwave Facebook Page

The top half of the song has this energetic, confident, “I’m making moves” feel. That “no one is going to stop my grind” feel. Again, that “shut the f*ck up I don’t want your conversation” feel. This is apparent especially during the “dropping baby off” segment of the song. Further evidence to support my claim that the track is about the night grind are simply the lyrics (“why your eyes well up?/Did you call me from a seance?/You were from my past life/hope you doing well, bruh/I’ve been out here head first…”). I’m sure YOU can relate just as I can to the “grind mode” that I think Frank is singing about.

Then in comes this distorted guitar segment (I won’t speak on that for the sake of length) followed by a totally new song under the same track. This second half comes in at the 3:30 mark of the track which evenly breaks the album in half (60 minute album, 9 songs on each side) with the second half of the album focusing on reflection of the self (which would explain why he sings about his early life on this half of “Nights”). What gathers my attention though is the reprise of the “dropping baby off” segment in the second half, only this time he’s singing in a lackadaisical, tired tone like he just came from working a 14-hour shift. Upon hearing this, I instantly got the message I think Frank was trying convey because after my shifts I felt just as lackadaisical as he’s singing (that “GAHHHHHDD” ad lib still sticks with me…  “Like he’s really tired and does not want your conversation. So… SHUT THE F*CK UP”).

For me, it seemed as though “every night” I’d go into work with this hustle mindset of “I’m here to support my personal grind” only to leave depleted, knowing I’d have to rinse, knowing I’d have to repeat (how does that lyric go? “every night f*cks everyday up/everyday patches the night up”). Is Frank singing about working the night shift at a job that isn’t in his particular career path? Maybe. Is he instead singing about his nights in the studio? Possibly. One thing I’m sure of is that this song helped me by not getting distracted by that inner voice (ya’ll know that evil inner voice) and not becoming “broke down, bummed out, stressed out”. This here is the reason why I love music and great artists/writers… there’s always one to relate to. Thank you for this one, Frank. Straight Influence.  

*Side note, I love the juxtaposition in “Good Guy”. One man singing about a bad date with another man then getting cut off by a guy saying “Jasmine f*cking wrecked my heart out/I don’t even know how I feel about bi-”… that’s good writing.

**I’m still working at the job I am talking about in this post. Hopefully this doesn’t get me into trouble!! … nah jk i don’t really care.

I’m an english major, so please pardon my punctuation.

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