Clocking in at just under 11 minutes, UK born and US based Devonté Hynes’s new Blood Orange track, ‘Do You See My Skin Through The Flames’ is a many and varied affair in a musical sense, but more importantly has a great deal to say in a personal sense about his past, present and future against the backdrop that is the state of being of African heritage in the world today. It’s largely inspired by recent events in the US, with its institutional white supremacist racist overtones, gun toting culture, penchant for mass murder followed by empty words and the inability of a superficial throwaway culture driven by artificially constructed fear that is unable to deal with truth in any meaningful sense. Moments of horror come and go like a fad and on to the next it goes. Hynes’s spoken words lament the difficulty of being an individual of an oppressed minority in the face of white controlled institutions that continue to dehumanise, humiliate and wantonly kill African Americans. That’s not to say its isolated to the US and the episode in Paris that is related in the song points to that. But at the same time is defiant about reclaiming and deconstructing his African heritage and Irish surname in the face of the long oppressive history on and of both. A very important personal take on one of the most important issues of our times. We stand at the crossroads where a soul destroying corporate culture that elevates rich white interests above all others in all things and a largely unacknowledged towering history of injustice that is ongoing, stands firmly in the way of an culturally inclusive future and the possibility of a healthy future of opportunity for Africans and others of African descent and indeed all oppressed racial groups all over the world. Tellingly, Hynes has made it very clear that this will not appear on his forthcoming record, despite the album being heavily based on race and identity, taking inspiration from novelist James Baldwin. Take it then, as a snapshot of the deep thought process behind what’s coming.



Do You See My Skin Through The Flames

Blood Orange (ENG/USA)
From the single, ‘Do You See My Skin Through The Flames’, Self Released.

Blood Orange Blog

Audio Stream

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