Frank Ocean No Longer on Def Jam Label
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:08:34
Frank Ocean Videos
Frank Ocean has been causing quite a stir. Aside from releasing two albums in close succession - visual album Endless was shared with audiences on August 19th, and Blonde was released on August 20th - the rapper announced that the second album was an independent release, free from his contract with Def Jam.
The Endless visual album "fulfills Frank's obligations to Def Jam and Universal," reports a source to Pitchfork. Blonde was self-released on Ocean's independent label Boys Don't Cry, which is not affiliated with the artist's former publisher Def Jam or it's parent Universal Music Group. Credits at the end of Endless name Def Jam, and the metadata on Blonde simply credits "Boys Don't Cry,".
Blonde features a wealth of guest artists including Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce and James Blake, and is arguably the real follow-up to Ocean's 2012 critically lauded album Channel ORANGE. Whereas Endless is streaming for free on Apple Music, Blonde is being sold commercially. It appears as if Endless was released, at least in some part, as a way to exit his contract with Def Jam, and to restore the control of an artist over his own material - and as a more viable product it appears as if Ocean alone will enjoy the financial profit.
The almost-double release of albums from Frank Ocean ends a long wait of false-starts and confusing comments from the artists. Just a couple of weeks ago, ahead of release, the rappers website livestreamed an esoteric scene that appeared to announce the incoming material, but also something more. Everything now seems to make sense, and fitting with a larger master plan from the acclaimed artist, confirming his unique vision for the place where creation and commerce meet.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff