Tired of years of misinterpretation, Frank Ocean has emerged from his musical hiatus to clarify that the lyric ‘brain like Berkeley’ on cult favorite “Novacane” was reportedly about students attending local community college. He issued a formal statement Wednesday: “Why would anyone pay that much money to go to UC Berkeley when they could learn the same things for a better price somewhere else? The real brainiacs go to Berkeley City College.” Devastated fans, citing the lyric as a central facet of their personality as well as their college decision, called for further comment, a plea to which Mr. Ocean has neglected to respond.
A recent study (conducted by Berkeley City College, actually) showed that a whopping 42% of UC Berkeley students have at one point displayed the line in some social media context. Sophomore Jason Lawrence, visibly upset, recounted his horror to a member of our staff Thursday, asserting that his “entire sense of personhood” had collapsed. “I mean, first I learn that Frank Ocean doesn’t think I’m special. What’s next? Did we really even discover an element? Was the free speech movement really us?” When confronted with the fact that he was not, in fact, alive during the free speech movement nor a part of the team that discovered Berkelium, sophomore Jason Lawrence refused to comment further and left the scene.
Other students seemed less wounded; Senior Andrew Gahan claims that he “could care less, dude. Wasn’t that line about sucking dick anyway?” Freshman Claire Foley remarked that she “had never actually heard the line,” and that she “thought that [brain like Berkeley] was just one of those dumbass marketing strategies to rope undecided admits in.”
On another hand, the announcement lit Hollywood ablaze; Ocean appears to have set a precedent for other artists in the industry to correct any popularly accepted lyrical misconstructions. Following what is now deemed as the “Novacane Rectification,” Estelle and Kanye West issued a joint statement claiming that the “London-town” referred to in 2000s classic “American Boy” is actually London, Kentucky. “We understand that all the British references are confusing,” they stated, “but actually we were just super stoked to be in the Walmart in this rural Kentucky town and went with it.”
Carol Christ has abstained from comment, but given the gravity of the situation and its emotional toll on the student body, we expect a formal statement soon.