Jay-Z Praises Frank Ocean For Playing By His Own Rules

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys share their thoughts on Frank Ocean’s artistry during a discussion on Twitter Spaces.
It’s rare for Jay-Z to publicly share his thoughts on other artists, so when he does, everyone in Hip-Hop listens. Back in 2017, the 4:44 artist celebrated everyone from Drake and Kanye West to Mac Miller and Tee Grizzley after becoming the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and during Vic Mensa’s debut album listening party, Hov called his Roc Nation signee a “once in a lifetime artist.”

Several years later, Jay-Z has taken the time to shower another artist with praise, and rather than a rapper, he shows love to one of his close collaborators and one of this generation’s most popular singers: Frank Ocean. During a recent conversation of Twitter Spaces with Alicia Keys, Genius, and Rob Markman, Jay-Z landed on the topic of Frank Ocean, and for nearly a minute straight, he celebrated the Blonde singer’s artistry and ability to succeed in the music industry on his own terms.

“You know, the success has to be, you know, like Frank Ocean,” Jay-Z said. “Now obviously, you know he’s super popular, but I wouldn’t say that he’s playing by what was what would what were the industry rules. He’s [playing] by his own set of rules, and he makes music that he wants to make. And it doesn’t fit a format.”

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“He doesn’t have songs on there that fit pop radio or you know that make it a billion streams — he just has music that’s better than everyone else,” Hov continued. “And that’s what has to be the goal. I don’t want to say better than everyone, in terms of competing with music. I’m just saying, he has some of the best music that we’ve never heard.”

Alicia Keys then piggybacked on Jay-Z’s statements, saying, “Yeah, he lives and he lives in his world and goes and creates what he loves. You can tell he’s not, to your point, playing by anybody else’s rules.”

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