As he’s wont to do, Frank Ocean has debuted yet another project shrouded in secrecy. Once again collaborating with his partner in elusive crime, he’s announced his first Beats 1 Radio show on Apple Music. And, oh look, its first episode is already happening live right now. “Blonded Radio” will be on from 12 to 2 p.m. ET, and it’s already got a major first guest: The first episode features Ocean interviewing Apple Music’s enemy Jay Z — in an apparent streaming peace treaty with Jay’s Tidal — about music accessibility and how streaming has made music consumption more inclusive. A description for the segment calls it “Interview Pt. 1,” so it would appear there’s more to come. As with anything Frank Ocean related, there aren’t any details about the show aside from his playlist, including “selections with Vegyn, Roof Access and Federico Aliprandi,” all collaborators of Ocean’s who seem to be the show’s hosts; Vegyn hosted episode 1. (Vulture has reached out to Apple Music for clarification.) So far, Blonded Radio has played two songs from Prince with Ocean saying, simply, “Rest in peace.”
Update: Read Jay Z’s conversation with Frank Ocean in which he talks about the dismal state of terrestrial radio and how streaming can bypass music’s gatekeepers:
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. If you think a person like Bob Marley right now probably wouldn’t play on a pop station. Which is crazy. It’s not even about the DJ discovering what music is best. You know, music is music. The line’s just been separated so much that we’re lost at this point in time.
They have to revolutionize that thing, you know, be more progressive. I think with all the technology and where we are today, it’s definitely a more efficient way to get music out. Because it’s the whole idea behind having a festival that played all sorts of music. Because no one listens to music like that - you just listen to music more than ever. Back in the days there used to be hip-hop clubs. Like, specific hip-hop clubs. Now every club is a hip-hop club. Every club is a music club. You go in there, you’re liable to hear EDM, hip-hop, you’re gonna hear some soul, you’re definitely going to hear “Poison” around 2-3 in the morning.It’s unfortunate because with, you know, technology and everything moving forward, we should, it should be a better way that the music, the musicians, radio, and these things that are supposed to be instruments for the arts, should exist. And it shouldn’t be about advertisement. And it shouldn’t be about—so the more times, you know, someone like yourself can bypass that, it’s better for the, for the arts. And it’s better for the audience ‘cause you have to have, like, a level of discipline and just a belief to put music out in this place where not everyone can. You know, people, like, they wanna shoot for that, and then they’re making music that’s not really conditioned to who they are [Frank says “right”], who they are so they can reach a certain platform.