Frank Ocean was released from Def Jam contract early

Anonymous source says the label agreed to let singer go.

In the weeks following the release of Frank Ocean’s latest album, Blond, it was revealed that the singer was no longer signed to Def Jam, having fulfilled potential contractual obligations with the visual album Endless, released in the days prior. The Associated Press now reports that Def Jam decided to let the singer out of his contract.

According to an anonymous source said to be familiar with the situation, the relationship between Ocean and his label had devolved like “a bad marriage” and “wasn’t going to work out.” While they did not confirm how many albums Ocean had been contracted for, the source added Ocean “didn’t want to be on a label. He wanted to do his own thing.”

Friction between Frank Ocean and Def Jam, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, had already been admitted by the singer, who in 2011 wrote a frustrated post about the working process between the two. “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.”

As things got worse following the release of channel ORANGE in 2012 and the next album was delayed, both parties decided to part ways after one more. According to the AP’s source there were negotiations to ensure Ocean could exit the contract and Blond was delivered “right at the last minute.”