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He recorded demos at a friend's studio and shopped them around Los Angeles. His friendship with Odd Future member Tyler The Creator reinvigorated Ocean's songwriting.
The mixtape gained the interest of recording artists such as Kanye West Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z and he consequently appeared on West and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne album. The singles "Novacane" and "Swim Good" both achieved chart success. In 2010 he became a member of alternative hip hop collective OFWGKTA and his debut mixtape Nostalgia Ultra was released the following year to critical acclaim.