Frank Ocean ‘left record label early’ because it was like a ‘bad marriage’, says report

Rumours about the singer's relationship with his former label continue to swirl

Frank Ocean‘s label Def Jam let him out of his contract early because their relationship was like a “bad marriage”, according to a new report.

Last month (August) the artist’s visual album ‘Endless’ fulfilled his contractual obligations to Def Jam, allowing him to release his new album ‘Blonde’ independently. It has since been reported that he has already made $1 million from the independently-released album.

Now the Associated Press reports that “a person familiar with the situation”, who “who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly speak about the topic”, has said that Def Jam actually decided to allow Ocean to leave their ranks early.


After likening the situation to a “bad marriage”, the person said of Ocean: “He didn’t want to be on a label. He wanted to do his own thing.”

“I’m sure there was some kind of negotiation in order for him to get out of the contract if there were remaining commitments on the contract,” the person added.

Neither Def Jam nor Ocean’s camp have commented on the report, which follows comments from Tricky Stewart, the songwriter and producer who signed Frank Ocean to Def Jam, who accused the label of mistreating the singer.

“It was probably, in hindsight, a huge mistake on my part,” Stewart told The Fader recently. “The label wasn’t motivated by the signing. They didn’t give him the respect that I thought he deserved. I couldn’t really get Def Jam to respond to him the way the way that I wanted them to respond to him.”

In the past, Ocean had been vocal about his misgivings with Def Jam, posting about his frustrations on Twitter.


In 2011, he wrote: “i. did. this. not ISLAND DEF JAM. that’s why you see no label logo on the artwork that I DID. guess its my fault for trusting my dumbass lawyer and signing my career over to a failing company. fuck Def Jam & any company that goes the length of signing a kid with dreams & talent w/ no intention of following through. fuck em. now back to my day. i want some oatmeal and toast. brunch swag.”

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