Well, this might not be the Channel Orange followup we’ve been waiting for. On Friday, burrito emporium Chipotle sued Frank Ocean for backing out on a deal to deliver a song for an advertising campaign. The suit alleges that Chipotle paid Ocean $212,500 to record a new version of “Pure Imagination,” the song made famous in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, for an ad benefiting the restaurant chain’s sustainable farming program. (Several artists, including Willie Nelson, have contributed to the program in the past.) The track was due back in August, but on the day that Ocean was supposed to deliver the tune, he told Chipotle he would not be delivering.
Ocean’s legal team sent a letter to Chipotle explaining his stance, the text of which is also included in the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. “When Frank was asked to participate in this project, Chipotle’s representatives told him that the thrust of the campaign was to promote responsible farming,” the letter reads. “There was no Chipotle reference or logo in the initial presentation, and Chipotle told Frank that was an intentional element of the campaign. Frank was also promised that he’d have the right to approve the master and all advertising.”
Chipotle denies those terms, and wants Ocean to return the $212,500 he was paid (he was scheduled to receive another check in that amount once the song was delivered). Ocean’s team has not yet commented on the lawsuit, and Chipotle was able to push forward with the campaign—they got Fiona Apple to record “Pure Imagination” instead.
UPDATE: Looks like Ocean settled, in delightfully frank fashion.
In other Ocean news, his voice is on the latest entry in the Converse Three Artists One Song series, which puts together a trio of disparate musicians to record a single track. Past tag-teams include Mark Foster/Kimbra/A-Trak and Gorillaz/Andre 3000/James Murphy. This time around, Ocean teamed up with two surviving members of the clash (Paul Simonon and Mick Jones) and producer Diplo for “Hero,” a dub-heavy dose of Monday morning dream rock. Give it a listen and get the download below.