A source confirms to Billboard that neither album was submitted for consideration by Ocean’s labels, management or other reps, even though both were released well before the 2017 Grammy eligibility cutoff date of Sept. 30, 2016.
Even before Frank Ocean released his albums “Endless” and “Blonde” on Apple Music last month, he and his label decided the relationship was over.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Ocean’s label, Def Jam, decided to let the singer out of his contract early because the relationship between the singer and the label was like a “bad marriage.” The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly speak about the topic, did not say how many albums Ocean was contracted for, but added that “it wasn’t going to work out.”
Frank Ocean earns his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with the arrival of Blonde. The set, which was released on Aug. 20, bows atop the list with 276,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Aug. 25, according to Nielsen Music.
Blonde logs the third-largest debut of 2016, behind only the arrivals of Drake’s Views and Beyonce’s Lemonade.
After an interminable wait (in music industry standards, at least), Ocean fulfilled his contractual obligations, sources tell Billboard, and increased his potential profit share from 14 percent to 70 percent of total revenues from Blond within a 24-hour period, seemingly pulling a fast one on the biggest music company in the world in the process. Def Jam and its parent Universal, stuck with an overshadowed visual album that isn’t for sale, and cut out of any revenue from the “proper” album that’s headed to the top of the charts on the strength of 225,000 to 250,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Aug. 25, were left with what amounts to a very long music video and without one of their marquee artists.
Furthermore, The New York Times is reporting that the new album, Boys Don’t Cry, will be released on Friday exclusively (for two weeks) through Apple Music:
Mr. Ocean, the innovative and enigmatic R&B singer, is set to release his next album, “Boys Don’t Cry,” on Friday through an exclusive deal with Apple Music, according to a person with knowledge of the release plans. The release is also expected to include a major video and a printed publication called “Boys Don’t Cry” that will be distributed at Apple stores.
I read in the paper that my brothers are being thrown from rooftops blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs for violating sharia law. I heard the crowds stone these fallen men if they move after they hit the ground. I heard it’s in the name of God. I heard my pastor speak for God too, quoting scripture from his book. Words like abomination popped off my skin like hot grease as he went on to describe a lake of fire that God wanted me in. I heard on the news that the aftermath of a hate crime left piles of bodies on a dance floor this month. I heard the gunman feigned dead among all the people he killed.