YN (från RapRadar) har intervjuat Frank Ocean för hans tidning, den verkar vara gjord för några månader sen (det nämns att Tyler har ett brutet ben) men ger ganska cool insyn hur det var att jobba med Jay-Z och Kanye för Watch The Throne. Annars är det de vanliga standard frågorna hur han hookade med Odd Future och vilken stämpel han vill sätta på sig själv.
Everyone is excited about your two appearances on Watch The Throne. How’d that come about?
Well, I worked with Jay first on some of his solo stuff. When I walked in the studio for the first time, he was the intimidating Jay at first. Then he allowed me to breathe, but it was cool, though. We worked on a song that he had a verse already written for. He had an idea, and he gave me this DVD of Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Radiant Child, which I hadn’t seen yet. It kind of had to do with the concept of the song. He rapped his verse, which was epic as fuck.
Immediately I got an idea. So I wrote out the hook, and when I was singing it, Jay came in the booth. He was like, “Your phrasing, low key, sounds like Sting.” I was doing some experimental things with accenting, and from there we started talking briefly about where the song was going. I had finished writing my verse, but it was lyrical, so it had to be precise. I was just making sure my bases were covered. Then Beyoncé came in, so I’m singing these takes in front of her. Swizz Beatz came through, and everybody listened to it finished right there. I wrapped it up, and it got a rave review from the room—it was a real cool moment.
So that got you a callback for WTT?
Yeah, I was taking a break off the East Coast run with OF, and I got asked to come back when they were working on Watch The Throne at the Mercer [Hotel]. I felt like I was there for 18 hours, even though I was really only there for a short time. I tried to get all the writing done I could in the space, and they both [Hov and Kanye] were there the whole time. I had just got a cut back for the “Novacane” video, so I played it for them. It was one of the cooler moments I’d had with them so far.
Did they have ideas about what songs they wanted you to enhance?
It was really collaborative, so we just went through beats. Kanye had a few he was excited about and really wanted to play. “Church in the Wild” had such a legit flow. We didn’t really talk about themes, but I laid out some song concepts and hooks. They built the songs from the hooks. I was there when Jay cut his verse for “Made” and when Kanye was writing “Church.” The one that I thought was on the fence was the “Sweet Baby Jesus” line, but that turned out to be the one that everyone liked. I really liked both. Kanye and Jay had a big impact on me, so being able to work on a project like that is as much a part of the dream as anything else.