Frank Ocean’s Blonde Songwriting Credits Revealed

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By Marc Hogan. Photo: Gary Miller.

Frank Ocean’s Blonde featured an all-star cast of collaborators, but almost a month after the album’s release, we still don't know exactly who played what. An accompanying magazine called Boys Don’t Cry, briefly available at pop-up shops in three cities on the same day as Blonde’s release, listed boldfaced names from David Bowie to Beyoncé as “album contributors.” But Ocean has yet to release full song-by-song credits for Blonde. Now, the database for ASCAP, which tracks songwriting royalties, has been updated to include at least a dozen of Blonde’s 17 tracks (or 19 counting “Mitsubishi Sony” and “Easy,” two extra songs on the physical albums found in the zine).

Among songwriters credited are the Beatles, Kendrick Lamar, Elliott Smith, Pharrell Williams, Jamie xx, Rostam Batmanglij, James Blake, Gang of Four, Todd Rundgren, and Tyler, the Creator. Los Angeles producer Om'Mas Keith, who also helped shape Ocean's previous album, Channel Orange, is prominently featured as a songwriter here; gospel singer Kim Burrell, producer/rapper 88-Keys, skateboarder Sage Elsesser, and designer Mikey Alfred are among others listed. David Bowie is not listed, but a representative for Bowie has speculated that Ocean probably credited Bowie in the zine merely as an influence.

Find the credits below, generally listed by songwriters’ stage names where possible. The credits also contain some surprises, such as Elliott Smith being listed on two tracks, that may turn out to be mistakes. The information below will surely be updated as more details become available.

Representatives for Ocean and ASCAP weren’t immediately able to comment on the record to Pitchfork.

Read Pitchfork’s interviews with Buddy Ross, SebastiAn, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Tom Sachs, who contributed to Ocean’s latest projects, and check out “Frank Ocean’s Blonde: 6 Things to Know”on the Pitch.

1. “Nikes”

Frank Ocean

Om'Mas Keith

Carl Palmer

Harry Palmer

Jeff Palmer

(As Palmer Brothers, the Palmers wrote the Mohawks’ 1968 single “The Champ,” which is sampled on this song; hear it below)

2. “Ivy”

Frank Ocean

Rostam Batmanglij

Om’Mas Keith

Jamie xx

3. “Pink + White”

Frank Ocean

Om’Mas Keith

Tyler, the Creator

Pharrell Williams

4. “Be Yourself”

Frank Ocean

Om’Mas Keith

5. “Solo”

Frank Ocean

Mikey Alfred

Dave Allen

Hugo Burnham

Sage Elsesser

Om’Mas Keith

Jon King

88-Keys

Todd Rundgren

Rho Spearman

(“Solo“ samples Rundgren’s “Flamingo,” which you can hear below; Allen, Burnham, and King were members of Gang of Four, though what song of theirs may have been sampled here is unclear)

6. “Skyline To”

Frank Ocean

Om’Mas Keith

Kendrick Lamar

Tyler, the Creator

7. “Self Control”

(not yet listed)

“Self Control” reportedly features Yung Lean and Austin Feinstein

8. “Good Guy”

(not yet listed)

9. “Nights”

Frank Ocean

Om’Mas Keith

Buddy Ross

Michael Uzowuru

Vegyn

10. “Solo (Reprise)”

(not yet listed)

“Solo (Reprise)” features André 3000

11. “Pretty Sweet”

Frank Ocean

Om’Mas Keith

12. “Facebook Story”

(not yet listed)

French producer SebastiAn told Pitchfork he is the spoken-word vocalist on “Facebook Story,” while Ocean keyboardist Buddy Ross told Pitchfork the keyboard parts are his.

13. “Close to You”

(not yet listed)

“Close to You” samples Stevie Wonder’s cover of “Close to You,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David:

14. “White Ferrari”

Frank Ocean

James Blake

Om’Mas Keith

John Lennon

Paul McCartney

(“White Ferrari” interpolates elements of the Beatles’ 1966 song “Here, There and Everywhere”)

15. “Seigfried” (listed as “Sigfried”)

Frank Ocean

George Harrison

Om’Mas Keith

John Lennon

Paul McCartney

Elliott Smith

Ringo Starr

(“Seigfried” samples the Beatles’ 1967 instrumental track “Flying” and interpolates elements from Smith's track “A Fond Farewell,” released posthumously in 2004)

16. “Godspeed” (listed as “God Speed”)

Frank Ocean

Kim Burrell

Om'Mas Keith

Elliott Smith

(It's unclear why Smith is listed here)

17. “Futura Free”

Frank Ocean

Mikey Alfred

Dave Allen

Hugo Burnham

Sage Elsesser

Andy Gill

Om’Mas Keith

Jon King

(“Futura Free“ samples Gang of Four’s “Love Like Anthrax”)

This story originally appeared on Pitchfork.

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