Never thought I would write this, but thank God for Reddit. The site is perfect for digging around for deep fan theories on Game of Thrones, and a place where hypebeasts go for underground fashion scoops. This time, Reddit is shining a light on a very sneaky pattern currently unfurling on HBO's Insecure. Season 2 has been interesting for many reasons—mostly the messy ass relationships that dominate the screen each Sunday. But a few Redditors have pointed out something even more interesting than Molly getting piped down by a married man: Frank Ocean references.
Since late July, Redditors no_potion, plantlover3, and sparkleheartemoji have been spotting tiny clues that point to a deliberate plan to include Frank Ocean into each episode of the season. Between their knowledge and our own research, we were able to identify the moments that salute the revered singer-songwriter.
In the season premiere, Lawrence visits Issa at their old apartment to pick up his mail and other left-behind items. On his way out, Lawrence notices that the Frank Ocean pillow that used to be on the couch isn't there anymore:
"What happened to Frank Ocean?"
"The pillow? Oh, it must have disappeared."
"You spilled something on it."
"Wine... and tapatio."
This is the first clue to the covert Frank tribute plan.
In the second episode of Season 2, there's a quick scene that shows Issa picking up her phone, which is clad in a Frank Ocean case. Later that episode, Issa's hilarious friend Kelli is stalking Lawrence's rebound Tasha on social media. Slightly judgmental (or hella judgmental), Kelli comments, "It looks like she's working at the Pyramid tonight." It's a direct hat-tip to Frank's ambitious 10-minute track "Pyramids" from his debut album, Channel Orange.
The Frank mention from the third episode of the season comes from Molly's potential bae, Randall, played by Sterling K. Brown. In a scene with the two, Randall says, "I've got to tell you how much I vibe with you"—a lyric from "Solo," from last year's Blonde.
The Frank Ocean mention from episode four also involves a conversation with Molly. This time, she's reminiscing with childhood friend/part-time lover Dro about their past. Dro says, "My waves wouldn't dip back then," a quotation from Blonde's "Ivy."
This episode featured a second mention: when the ever-gullible Lawrence ends up in a threesome, one of the girls he's hooking up with says, "Fuck me good, fuck me long, fuck me numb," which is a lyric from Frank's breakout 2011 song, "Novacane."
In episode five, Molly and Dro are catching up again. "I've been thinking 'bout you," she tells him. It's a straight-forward nod to Frank's timeless jam, "Thinkin Bout You."
In the most recent episode, Issa is talking to Molly about her "ho-tation," when she mentions Nico, one of the dudes in her circle. Issa explains how she wants their next conversation to go: "I'ma tell him, 'Shut the fuck up, I don't want your conversation—get in my lineup.'" The first part of that imaginary conversation is a lyric from "Nights," also from Blonde.
And that brings us up to speed thus far. The team behind Insecure pulled this off last season too—with Drake. The show's creator Issa Rae told Rolling Stone about the trick in an interview last October. "We have a Drake lyric in every episode as an Easter egg," Rae said. "That was a personal thing for me, but that's not something that we bang you over the head with."
Drake was mentioned in passing in the pilot episode, like Frank's brief mention in the Season 2 premiere. During a conversation with Issa, Daniel says, “Every black girl that went to college likes Drake,” to which Issa replies, “He just really gets us!” After that, episodes two through eight of the show feature lyrics from early Drake cuts like Thank Me Later's "Fancy," and more recent joints like "Pop Style," "Redemption," and "Faithful" from Views. You can peep the full rundown here via pop culture blog Fresh Pair of IIs.
There are two episodes left in Season 2—I know, how did this come up so fast? In any case, keep your ears open for the next lyric drop.