How Frank Ocean Finessed Def Jam Out of $20,000,000

For those that didn’t know Frank Ocean was a songwriter in the Music Industry before he was known as Frank ocean. At the time he was Lonny and wrote songs for some of the biggest artists like Beyonce and Justin Bieber. While he enjoyed writing for other artists he decided it was time to create music for himself. He then made his transition into the public eye by joining Tyler the Creator’s Odd Future which lead to a record deal with Def Jam.

Unfortunately things weren’t the best with Def Jam, they didn’t quite believe in Oceans at the time. This lead Ocean to release a mixtape called ” Nostalgia, Ultra”without the support of the label. It was a huge success so the label finally decided to get behind him and released  Novacane as a single.

Frank Ocean then went on to work with Jay Z and Kanye West on  Watch The Throne. There was a little commotion about the song “thinking about you” after it was leaked on the internet. The song was originally meant for Roc nation’s Artist, Bridget Kelly, which did appear on her EP Every Girl.

Lets be honest , Frank Ocean’s was better and  brought anticipation for the album titled Channel Orange. Channel Orange was a huge success and  Ocean gained $2 million for the next album from Def Jam.

This is when things start to get a little weird. The following album was titled Boys Dont Cry but was never released. Its believed that Apple may have footed the two million dollar bill to buy back the rights for Frank Ocean. Ocean still needed to provide an album to Def Jam to fulfill his contractual agreement which brought Endless.

Sponsored by Apple Music, Endless was announced via a 140 min live stream. During the stream, it appeared to be Frank Ocean building a staircase with the instrumentals of Endless playing in a loop. The Album eventually released and his contract was fulfilled with Def Jam. He was now independent and thats when the finesse was revealed.

The very next day after Endless was released, Frank Ocean dropped Blonde exclusively via Apple Music. Blonde was #1 in 7 countries and sold 232,000 units (275,000 with album-equivalent units) in the first week. He went from owning 17% to 70% of his Royalties and Publishing. Ocean also secured a bag from Apple music for the exclusivity(rumored to be worth $20million). Chess moves.

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