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frank ocean annotated his new track on genius, and interviewed jay z on the radio

The often elusive 'Blonde' singer explains his lyrics about Picasso and chats about the quality of radio playlists with Hova.

by Charlotte Gush
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Feb 27 2017, 2:53pm

There was a time when we waited eagerly for sporadic and brief missives from his brilliant Tumblr blog, but over the past few days, we have been treated to a relative glut of Frank Ocean's inner machinations.

The Blonde singer took to lyric site Genius to annotate the intro to "Slide," his new track with Migos and Calvin Harris. Ocean highlighted the lines "I might / Empty my bank account / And buy that boy with a pipe." Frank comments that they are about "A picasso painting that sold for so much money" — a reference to the Picasso painting Garçon à la Pipe, a portrait of an artist's apprentice wearing a blue smock suit and flower crown, smoking a pipe. The painting controversially sold for a record-breaking $104.2 million in 2004, despite reservations about the work's artistic merit (it isn't widely considered a masterpiece).

Then came the surprise news that Ocean has a new show on Beats 1, dubbed Blonded. In its first episode, Ocean interviews recent Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Jay Z. The pair chatted about technology and the pitfalls of radio playlists, with Hova saying, "Take radio for instance. It's pretty much an advertisement model. You take these pop stations, they're reaching 18-34 young white females. So they're playing music based on those tastes. And then they're taking those numbers and they're going to advertising agencies and people are paying numbers based on the audience that they have. So these places are not even based on music. Their playlist isn't based on music." He later extolled the virtue of a playlist curated instead by a music lover like Ocean.

Listen to all of Blonded episode one on iTunes. The Jay Z interview is at 1:03:00, and again at 1:53:00.

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Text Charlotte Gush
Image via Twitter