Few musicians in the indie world are as outspoken about racism and discrimination as British singer/producer and Blood Orange frontman Dev Hynes. From criticizing security guards at Lollapalooza last year for jumping him to unabashedly stating that he’s sick of explaining racism, the prolific artist is leading a conversation that many in his corner of "alternative" culture aren’t willing to engage with.
Despite his current social media hiatus, Hynes returned to Tumblr to call out Australian publication Oyster Magazine for discriminatory editing. In what was supposed to be an in-depth conversation between Hynes and Julian Casablancas, lead singer of The Strokes, Hynes and Casablancas spoke about numerous topics that made it into the piece relating to their music and personal experiences. Hynes accused the magazine of editing out significant portions of their conversation about racial politics, saying that it was an erasure of an important set of points that black people inevitably face when talking about race in the media:
End of last year Julian and I had a conversation for a magazine (that I don’t need to name) in which we openly had a conversation for an hour, talking about music, racial politics and our past. This magazine in question didn’t want to put the interview out without it being edited … fair enough. So we took it elsewhere.
Oyster Magazine agreed to post it un-edited.
They just posted the interview, I don’t know who it was involved, magazine, publicist … so i won’t fully point blame in any true direction right now … but they fully edited and censored it without telling us. Cutting out everything to do with race and my past that I discussed, which was not easy for me to do. Why? So they can have another bullshit piece to add to the noise of the internet? Keep us talking about prince & MJ, of course … but let’s take out the section about the million man march … Let’s keep the section talking about first bands we played in … but take out the part where i talk in detail about being assaulted by security and having my knee knocked out of place at Lollapalooza.
It’s very disheartening … & yet again left with the feeling of a lack of trust & hope. In fact, i’m certain that you don’t even see what the real problem is here? I’m sure most people won’t. It’ll be seen as “Dev lashes out at Oyster Magazine” or “why is he moaning about being featured in a magazine …” it’s not about that to me, I could care less about any of that shit, none of that matters on a day to day in the real world … but the idea of being able to speak freely about things that I think are bothersome to me & to JC, and to others, when told that I could … was really special to me. I don’t do many articles/interviews because it’s all the same noise, not even slightly an ego thing, in fact it’s more like the opposite. So I was happy when this opportunity arose to talk openly and un-edited with a friend.
You had a chance to really add to something, and show people that there are real conversations taking place in the world right now, but you chose otherwise. And prove yet again that the censorship of a free speaking Black man is of less value to you than retweets.