Quentin Tarantino’s long-awaited Django Unchained hit theatres yesterday, and some of you may have spent your Christmas at the movies watching Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz on their bounty-hunting, wife-rescuing mission. So far, Django has enjoyed a pretty positive reception, four Golden Globe nominations and favorable reviews of its soundtrack, which features a varied bunch, including Rick Ross, Jim Croce, Ennio Morricone and, of all things, a posthumous 2Pac/James Brown mashup. Missing from the musical selection is one last gem, Frank Ocean’s ballad "Wiseman," which was written for the film but ultimately left off the soundtrack.
As Tarantino explained in a statement on the release of the music from the film:
"Frank Ocean wrote a fantastic ballad that was truly lovely and poetic in every way, there just wasn’t a scene for it. I could have thrown it in quickly just to have it, but that’s not why he wrote it and not his intention. So I didn’t want to cheapen his effort. But, the song is fantastic, and when Frank decides to unleash it on the public, they’ll realize it then."
And indeed, he was right. The public will. The song is now available for your listening pleasure, and it is indeed a beautiful ballad, with Ocean’s voice, as always, the standout in a sea of guitars and synths. For a movie that explores notions of motivation and action and good and evil and all those things, it would have been a fitting addition, at least thematically.
Ocean doesn’t seem that upset about his song being left off the soundtrack, though. Over the weekend, he streamed "Wiseman" on his Tumblr, captioning it and Tweeting that "django was ill without it." Based on the rest of the soundtrack, it’s hard to imagine a place for it, but it’s worth a listen with or without the film attached. You can stream it there.