Report: Frank Ocean and Def Jam had split before "Blonde" was released.
Last month, reports surfaced saying that Frank Ocean had cut ties with Def Jam and released Blonde independently. He made an estimated $1 million in the first week following the album's release and was praised for his business acumen (to say nothing of his musical acumen).
According to a report by AP, Ocean and Def Jam had ended their relationship well before Blonde and Endless were released. A person familiar with the situation says Def Jam released Ocean from his contract early. The source compared the label-artist relationship to a "bad marriage" and said, "It wasn't going to work out... He didn't want to be on a label. He wanted to do his own thing."
The source implied that the rocky relationship between Def Jam and Ocean was partly responsibly for the delay of Blonde, and that Blonde was submitted "right at the last minute."
"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 source said.