August 25, 2016


You Don't Need Apple Music to Stream Frank Ocean's 'Blonde' & 'Endless' Albums

Frank Ocean/Boys Don't Cry
Frank Ocean/Boys Don't Cry

Update (9/9): Frank Ocean's Blonde album is on Spotify! Stream it below, then scroll onward to find out where you can experience the visual album Endless.

Original story (8/25): Frank Ocean's Blonde and Endless, the near-simultaneous follow-ups to 2012's Channel Orange, came in an all-time off-the-wall album delivery times two. Since the big Frocean weekend, the places to stream Blonde and Endless have been proliferating in interesting, curious ways.

After its Thursday night supposed-to-be-exclusive surprise premiere on Apple Music, Frank's visual album Endless was streaming pretty openly on Vimeo. Those multiple copies seem to have been mostly or completely pulled after copyright complaints. At least a couple hip-hop sites still have Endless video bootlegs streaming, though.

The "official" way to watch Endless, of course, is on Apple Music. You can't buy Endless there, or anywhere yet, despite music videos like "Pyramids," "Novacane" and "Swim Good" being available in the iTunes Store for $1.99. There's also no aboveboard way to listen to the Endless audio as a regular, track-by-track album so far. Googling "download frank ocean endless audio" yields pretty immediate piratical results. It's also, as with all things great and small, on torrent sites.

How can you listen to Blonde? Pretty easily, at this point. Its Apple Music exclusivity is officially over, with Pitchfork noticing that Frank's new album is now on Pandora. It's still on Apple Music, and iTunes for $9.99.

Blonde is on Soundcloud via a variety of accounts; many songs have tens of thousands of streams, some climbing close to 100,000 at this time.

The site Digital Music News has been on to some stuff, though. On Sunday, they found the album available to download via a public Google Drive upload (boosted on "a heavily trafficked Reddit thread"); it stayed there at least two days. On Tuesday they ran a similar story, about Blonde being available on a public Dropbox for multiple days. Today they're noting that it's been uploaded a number of times to YouTube.

It's fair to expect Blonde to stream at places like Spotify and Tidal soon; The Fader did find out on Tuesday that the album is an independent release, with Endless completing Frank Ocean's Def Jam contract. And artists typically, y'know, like as many people listening to their music as possible. Especially when that music is Blonde, and Endless.

Watch Frank explain why winning a BRIT Award "is like skydiving" back in 2013: