Screwing over gazillion-dollar entities with an artistic coup is something we should all be doing more of, even if the stakes may not be as high as they were when Frank Ocean dropped Endless and Blonde back to back in 2016.
In a new Dazed interview conducted by an assortment of fellow creators, Ocean was asked by JPEGMAFIA how it felt "fucking over a label like that," a reference to Endless' Def Jam contract-fulfilling release being followed mere hours later by the label-free Blonde.
"You know, it's funny talking about it these days because I couldn't really tell anybody anything for a couple of years," Ocean said of the experience, noting that he spent much of this era carrying hard drives around with him due to a reluctance toward online storage. "Couldn't tell anyone at the label, obviously. But I also couldn't talk with anyone at Apple because the industry is too small and it would've gotten back to the label for sure. So I kept it to myself and a few in my circle."
By the time both projects had been uploaded, Ocean was simultaneously stoked and exhausted. "I felt the euphoria, yeah, but mostly I just needed to sleep," he said. "I probably slept something like 15 hours." Generously, Ocean ended the answer to this particular question with an invitation for JPEGMAFIA to take the self-built 12-foot Endless staircase off his hands.
John Waters, Nile Rodgers, Rex Orange County, Big Freedia, Janet Mock, and more also hit Ocean with questions for the Dazed piece. Asked by Raymond Buck toward the end of the piece "what's left" to achieve, Ocean looked ahead to "building a family." Other questions prompted thoughts on Nymphomaniac, his vision of heaven, triangle vs. pulse waves, freezing cold showers' power, and Tesla battery hums. Ocean also said vinyl for Channel Orange is coming "ASAP." Read the full thing here.
Speaking of Endless, rumors at the top of this year had fans briefly convinced that the project would be getting a wide streaming release. Ocean, however, dismissed such chatter as "fake news."