Meaning of “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean

In the first part of “Thinkin Bout You, the lyrics narrate a vivid representation of emotional turmoil and heartache. The “tornado” metaphorically encapsulates a whirlpool of emotions, and the mention of unlikely rain in Southern California and Arizona symbolizes rare and deep emotional outpouring from the narrator, expressed through crying—something unusual for them.

The repetition of the lines “I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout you” and the pondering about whether the other person reciprocates these feelings introduce a theme of longing and deep reflection on the relationship. Frank expresses a kind of hopeful foresight, dreaming of “forever”, juxtaposed with the uncertainty and fear that the other person might not be thinking as far ahead.

“Or do you not think so far ahead?
‘Cause I been thinkin’ bout forever, ooh
Or do you not think so far ahead?
‘Cause I been thinkin’ bout forever, ooh”

In the subsequent stanzas, there seems to be an internal conflict where the narrator alternates between downplaying their feelings and being candid about the depth of their attachment. The mention of selling a beach house in Idaho and not flying a fighter jet might indicate unrealistic promises or a sense of unattainable dreams in the relationship.

As we delve deeper, it becomes evident that Frank Ocean harbors deep feelings, reminiscing about the “first time” and the unforgettable “new feel” that the relationship brought into their life. There is a firm desire to “keep it alive” and to continue down the road of the relationship, even if it turns “from color to black and white”, indicating a readiness to face challenges and cherish the relationship through changing circumstances.

Lastly, the repetition of being caught in the thought of “forever” reiterates the depth of Frank’s feelings and his hope for a future with the person they are singing about.

When was “Thinkin Bout You” released?

Frank released “Thinkin Bout You” on 17th April, 2012 as his lead single from his debut album, “Channel Orange”. Def Jam was the label behind this album’s release.


Ocean co-wrote and co-produced this track with Shea Taylor. Taylor has worked with the likes of Rihanna, Ariana Grande, and Janet Jackson.


In the United Kingdom and United States, “Thinkin Bout You” was certified Platinum.

CountryCertificationUnits sold to date
United KingdomPlatinumOver half a million
United StatesPlatinumOver a million
Thinkin Bout You

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