How Frank Ocean finessed Def Jam & Apple Music out of $20,000,000
Frank Ocean’s four year sabbatical from the public eye following his 2012 debut album Channel Orange left everyone’s mouths watering for more. Finally, in 2016, he reappeared with back to back releases of the visual album "Endless", released as an Apple Music video stream via Def Jam/Universal Music Group and the 17-song album "Blonde", released as an Apple exclusive a day later under his own label "Boys Don’t Cry", without Def Jam’s or Universal’s involvement.
This interesting development can be followed back to Ocean signing to Def Jam for a two-album deal at the end of 2009. He stated that outside of the signed contract there was no real relationship between him and his label. So without any backing or support from his label he decided to put together a mixtape. At the start of 2011, Frank released his mixtape "Nostalgia, Ultra" independently, which went on to become a huge success that is still popular to this day.
Suddenly after recognizing the buzz around the mixtape Def Jam got behind Frank and began meeting all his demands, which led up to his already aforementioned debut album "Channel Orange".