Frank Ocean, the sought-after young R&B star who got the break of a lifetime when he appeared on two songs from Watch the Throne, gave a rare interview to Angie Martinez where he opened up about working with Jay-Z and Kanye West, rolling with his crew Odd Future and more.
“I rarely do collabs, so that’s just one of the ones you absolutely do. It’s like a no-brainer," Ocean said about getting the call to work on Throne. "I didn’t really think about any of it. The last thing on my mind was working with artists who I’ve held in high esteem for years.”
Ocean, who was working with Jay-Z on the megastar's next solo album before he got recruited for Throne, recalled the first time he met the rap deity.
“The first seven minutes or so of working with Jay was — I won’t even say it was seven minutes — but it’s like the initial walk-in, sit down, put your bag down and he wasn’t saying anything, and I was nervous, as soon as we started talking [it was fine]. He’s super cool. I think he was just tryna make me nervous, make me sweat. It seemed a little intentional.”
The singer and former Def Jam artist was formerly best known as the lone R&B artist in the notorious California hip hop collective Odd Future. Ocean said that the group still allows him to cultivate his own identity as an artist.
"That’s family. It’s a crew, but it’s not like a boy band where we’re like this cohesive thing that moves and does everything together," he said. "We’re like a crew of a bunch of different artists who create their own thing and their own wave.”
Ocean's debut album, from Tricky Stewart's Island Def Jam imprint Red Zone Records, is in the works, but the 23-year-old couldn't say when fans will hear it.
"I have no idea. I just want to make sure the next thing is right and I don’t want to go on the record and say that it’s coming out on some phantom date that never appears,” he said.
(Photo: Island Def Jam)