As the powerful words of Ashlee Haze echoed through a sold-out venue last Saturday night, the audience could hardly contain their excitement for the extraordinary hour that was ahead of them. Haze’s poem “For Colored Girls” speaks to her experiences discovering her identity as a black female living in modern day society. The piece is the first of numerous influential works sampled on Dev Hynes’ latest record, Freetown Sound. Hynes’ third release under the alias Blood Orange captures raw, human emotion in a poetically honest fashion. The skillfully curated record tells stories of oppression, adversity, unjust realities, and the human condition. Hynes has mastered the art of collage through the composition of Freetown Sound; complete with harmonious vocals, beautiful words, and an array of instruments, the record provides the listener with a thought-provoking, emotional narrative.
10/06/16 – NEW YORK, NEW YORK
That night, it was evident that the anticipation of Dev Hynes’ long-awaited appearance was becoming unbearable. As enthusiastic fans grooved to the opening DJ set and fervently discussed what was to come, a voice spoke into the microphone. The audience fell silent when Ashlee Haze stepped forward and proceeded to recite her poem. “A brief history of womanhood in hip hop, or, your favorite could never, or, for colored girls who don’t need Katy Perry when Missy Elliot is enough,” she began. Cheers of love and support reverberated off the walls of the crowded venue as Haze spoke in Missy Elliot’s honor—this was only the beginning of a magical, multifaceted experience.