Watch: Blood Orange - Sandra's Smile
The R & B producer releases a slow jam with a political bent.
Blood Orange singer Dev Hynes joins the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Usher and Killer Mike in creating a cultural response to contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement, as he speaks out lyrically about the complexity of black grief in his new track Sandra's Smile. The 'Sandra' in the track is Sandra Bland, an African-American woman (a Black Lives Matter activist) who hung herself in police custody while in a Texas jail recently. Blood Orange uses her smile as a symbol for black resilience; as hope in the suffering: "Closed our eyes for a while...but I still see Sandra's smile". Some lyrics on the song also reference Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton. To accompany the release, Dev shared pictures of the lyrics in a notebook with photos of both Sandra and Sybrina.
The track itself sounds like one of Michael Jackson's drama-drenched slower numbers: a graceful, downbeat pop ballad, with choir-style back up vocals and a saxophone solo. Cool little outro at the end too. Dev's also released a video for the song, that he directed himself, featuring Waffle Crew, and rappers Junglepussy and Ian Isiah. The black-and-white video sees Hynes sassin' his way through the streets; meeting up with friends on corners and in parks for fun dance-offs in the street.
While Dev hasn't released a full length album since 2013 (Cupid Deluxe), he's been a busy guy - he recently collab'd with Carly Rae Jepsen and Heems, and pieced together a 45-minute film score (that in the end wasn't used). Hynes has previously scored James Franco's Palo Alto, too.
Watch Sandra's Smile below: