If you follow Blood Orange's Dev Hynes on social media, you're already aware that he's consistently thoughtful when it comes to highlighting race issues in America. Most recently, he critiqued the BET Awards' narrow focus. Now he's addressing a much larger issue with the same poise. Taking to Facebook, Hynes penned an open letter about the problematic state of the country, writing, "You may see me write on this page or playing music and see me as Blood Orange or Dev Hynes, but I turn the corner and I am just another black man...that could be shot down at any time in my life, and as I'm dying know full well, that even if they were to catch who killed me, he will get off free. It is an incredible sadness & heaviness. Being told that we do not matter on and on and on day to day to day...I don't know what to do anymore."
Hynes channeled those frustrations into a harrowing spoken-word song called "Do You See My Skin Through The Flames?" On the piano-driven track, he meditates on the meaning of his birth name and opens up about his depression. "I have nothing left to give when you don’t notice what is wrong," he says, "Charleston left me broken down but it’s just another day to you."
Listen and read along with the lyrics below.
"frustration and depression breaks me down
descending like they wanted underground
the further our journey the less you care
that’s why you laugh at Kanye when he’s talking in a chair
but the same conversation but replaced,
is good enough for laughs or a smile on your face,
happy to be singing all our songs to survive,
but when we need help, you don’t get off til 5.
it’s powerful to feel so alone in a group
let me break this down for you and tell you how we feel again,
your fear is all you hold on to, so when you see me it’s not fair
i have nothing left to give when you don’t notice what is wrong,
Charleston left me broken down but it’s just another day to you
i ain’t got nothing left to give you
and i’m too tired, to even talk about it
while watching the fire,
tasting pain coming from a place of truth
to be another in a messy world
to feel like giving in another turn?
you wouldn’t listen if i told you
so how can i become anyone?"