After the critically acclaim MBDTF many were questioning how Kanye could follow this & he shocked the music world with Yeezus.
Instead of lush, opulent sounds of Twisted Fantasy or even the lauded of Black Excellence that were in The Throne’s WTT Yeezus was more punk rock than classic hip hop.
Yeezus & Blond were both surrounded by anticipation & controversy.
During 2013 Kanye, feed up with the perceived shunning from the fashion world, particularly Nike, Mr West released New Slaves, an indictment against corporations, and when he performed on SNL the backdrop read ‘Not For Sale’.
His interviews were filled with calls to destroy classism instead seeking for a system were he could receive more control of his product.
Some critics & even fans were tiring of his Visionary Streams of Consciousness but later he was validated when he received his partnership with adidas & after breaking records formed
Kanye West + adidas planning to bring a more wide release of not only his clothes but product.
Fans & critics were also tiring of these endless rumors & with every false release date there was less hope that Boys Don’t Cry would be released let alone come in the promised 2 versions.
“I got two versions. I got twoooo versions” #Issue1 #ALBUM3 #JULY2015 #BOYSDONTCRY
August 19th saw the release of Endless a visual album of Frank Ocean building carpentry as instrumentals plays.
Then shortly there after a music video of Nikes was posted on Apple Music showing there was more content coming.
Paired with the limited edition Boys Don’t Cry magazine Blond has caused waves & shook up the industry.
As a visual album Endless essentially fulfilled any contractual obligations Ocean made with Def Jam.
Blond released a day after topped Billboard’s 200 while Endless is ineligible for Billboard Chart.
The label must be pissed https://t.co/6Nakwhiz9C
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) August 30, 2016
In response to being outsmarted by a major artist on his label Universal’s Lucian Grange recently banned any UMG artists from exclusive content being on streaming sites.
This may possibly endangering not only Birdman’s upcoming Cash Money documentary, or Nicki Minaj’s ownership with TIDAL but also Drake’s deal with Apple Music.
According to Billboard Blond has generated an estimated over $2 million & since it was self released.
This move increased his profit share from 14% to 70% of total revenues.
Then with a 70% of revenues Ocean himself would’ve made over $1.5 million off the album’s 232K sales & over $500K off the album’s 69 million streams.
Blond became the third highest debut of 2016, only behind Drake’s VIEWS & Beyonce’s LEMONADE
‘Blonde’ is Frank Ocean’s first ever Billboard 200 #1 album and posts the third biggest debut sales week for an album in 2016.
— chart data (@chartdata) August 28, 2016
Frank Ocean, with his Boys Don’t Cry label, joined Chance The Rapper as an independent artist doing an exclusive partnership with Apple Music.
In this era of streaming with platforms like Apple Music & TIDAL battling for the attention and loyalty of the consumer this move invites other artists to pursue their independent.