Apple Executives Say Frank Ocean’s Label Drama Had ‘Nothing To Do With Us’

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It goes without saying that Apple Music had a massive year. Drake, Chance The Rapper, and Frank Ocean were some of the biggest names to release records this year, and all of them debuted as exclusives on Apple Music. In a new interview with The New York Times, Apple Music executives Larry Jackson and Jimmy Iovine reflected upon the big year for the streaming platform, and also revealed that we almost got The Life Of Pablo as an Apple Music exclusive before it ultimately went to Tidal (“He was part of Jay’s thing and chose to make a deal with his friend, and I respect that,” Iovine said.)

Interestingly, they also touched upon the drama between Frank Ocean and his label Def Jam/Universal Music Group that erupted when Ocean released the visual album Endless as a means of getting out of his contract with the label before releasing Blonde independently as an Apple Music exclusive. Asked if he regrets how the situation panned, out Iovine responded vehemently in the negative:

“We wanted to work with Frank Ocean. We had a deal — we were working with Frank Ocean, and he controlled where his music came out. Why would it be in our interest to be part of a fast one, a slow one or any one? We were getting the record no matter what. Whatever happened with him and Universal is really between him and Universal. It has nothing to do with us. Nothing.”

Check out the full interview here.