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Do You See My Skin Through the Flames?

Blood Orange
Language: English


Related Songs

Daybreak in Alabama
(Langston Hughes)
Sandra's Smile
(Blood Orange)


2015

Within the insular internet music world, and the realm of pop in which Blood Orange’s music often moves, Dev Hynes stands out as a beacon of dissent, anger, courage, and empathy. His social media presence flickers with notes on injustice in pop culture and society, writ large. Last year, he was assaulted by security at Lollapalooza after a set in which he spoke out against police brutality whilst wearing a T-shirt bearing the names of black men and boys murdered by law enforcement: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, and Oscar Grant.
On the somber, pulsating vocal collage "Do You See My Skin Through the Flames?" he connects these percolating thoughts and attendant, mushrooming feelings of isolation and exhaustion through music for the first time. "I have nothing left to give when you don't notice what’s wrong," he sings, "Charleston left me broken down but it's just another day to you." It follows a voicemail snippet from Talwst, a Toronto artist and curator of Trinidadian descent, telling Hynes, "I understand what you’re going through being surrounded by friends of privilege who don’t get it." So yes, on this song Hynes is thinking about institutions that perpetuate incidents like Charleston and McKinney and kill black people like Tamir Rice and Rekia Boyd and dehumanize artists like Kanye West, but, more powerfully, he pulls back and names his immediate community—fans included—as complicit as well. The message is simple: A gun-toting racist is deadly, but so is your silence.
pitchfork
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?

Contributed by dq82 - 2015/10/30 - 10:16



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