Solange & Blood Orange

Putting together her great 2012 EP True, the EP that turned her into an indie sensation, Solange Knowles worked closely with Dev Hynes, who records as Blood Orange. Hynes worked as a producer, songwriter, and musician on the EP, and the record gives a sense of two voices figuring out how to intertwine with each other. When the two shared stages on late-night shows and on tour, they seemed deeply linked — sharing big smiles and choreographed dance steps, displaying a serious working chemistry. But a recent FADER cover story on Hynes shed light on some tension between the two; they couldn’t agree how how much credit Hynes should get for those songs. And now they’re apparently not friends anymore. It’s sad.

On Twitter yesterday, both Hynes and Solange said a few things about their working relationship, and it went beyond tension into the fuck-you stage of things. Solange was a bit more conciliatory than Hynes, but the sentiment seemed to be about the same on each side. Since both went beyond a single Tweet, I’ll just put together what they said into paragraph form. First, here’s what Hynes wrote:

If you wanna take shots at me text me call me talk to me in person but don’t ever drop a subliminal, talk behind my back, or send a flunky. I’m doing myself. Ain’t nothing to do with anyone else, I’m about myself, like any self respecting human should be. We live & die alone. I have beef with no one. I won’t even mention your name ever again. Any of you. I’ve said my bit. I’ve reached out. I’ve praised you. But now it’s done. It’s over. We’re done. Bye.

Now here’s what Solange wrote back, with the caveat that she actually @-ed Hynes on all this stuff:

When you do tumblr post, speak about things in interviews, tweet, issues then belong to the public. I have been minding my biz. I have only ever praised you and spoken about you positively, even when our perspectives were totally different. I still support your artistry & am extremely happy for your success. I just wished you were honest about the making of my album. That’s all I’m going to say on this. You know more than anyone niggas love drama. Also u know very well I have reached out. Bless. Ps: Your phone been going straight to VM for long time.

(via The 405 News)

Here’s hoping they can figure this out. Both Solange and Hynes are perfectly capable of making great music on their own, but they make really great music together. Meanwhile, the new Blood Orange album Cupid Deluxe is out now on Domino, and it’s awesome.

Comments (13)
  1. Solange wouldn’t have gotten the indie cred boost had it not been for Blood Orange’s help last year, and in reading that Fader story — Sorry, Sky, but between “Everything Is Embarrassing” and “Losing You,” those standouts have Blood Orange’s fingerprints all over them. Night Time, My Time is drastically different than that sound, but I don’t think it was wrong for the press to point out the obvious that Blood Orange did all of the heavy lifting last year for Basement Baby and Sky, with their roles only being that of “muses.” He continues doing it today with Samantha Urbani and Carolina Polachek.

    Let’s just state the obvious: Solange has been leaching off indie cool to get herself over since she knew that would never make it as big as big sister B. She buddied up with Chris Taylor’s label for an independent release, got one of the hippest producers to writer her a Pitchfork hit, but now that she’s got listeners baited, she’s back on a major label making like she got her there. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, though, because the Knowles are master manipulators of image.

    I saw her at the FYF Fest and she sucked. Her voice isn’t very strong. Her non-Blood Orange songs don’t grab you. Her new mixtape gets by on other musicians’ buzz.

    • Just because Polachek is featured on his album it doesn’t mean he’s carrying her. She does just fine with Chairlift and, as far as I’m concerned, I Belong in Your Arms is better than anything Hynes has ever put out. Also I don’t know why you single those two out, when there are plenty of other people in Cupid Deluxe. Is Hynes carrying them all? Dude’s got some strong arms I tell you what

    • heck, Polachek has made herself into a highly sought-after collaborator beyond her incredible albums with Chairlift. just look at her work with Washed Out, Violens, Ice Choir, Phoenix, etc.

  2. “You know more than anyone niggas love drama.” I know you’re most likely not a reader of Stereogum, Solange, but probably shouldn’t make statements on twitter that sound a whole hell of a lot like a general put down of your entire race. Particularly when its already a stereotype. Just putting that out there.

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • “Niggas” will ALWAYS be racial. Anyone trying to play the double standard of “I’m black, so I can say that casually and it not be offensive” is perpetuating a terrible word from a terrible time in world history.

        Trivializing the word does nothing to make race issues go away, it actually does the opposite. Black people do not like being called it in a an offensive context so creating a general and casual contest just creates a bigger divide between races. I have plenty of black friends (and please don’t waste your time trying to attack me for some ignorant “i have plenty of black friends” shit) who DO NOT use that word in a casual way because it’s disgraceful.

        Thankfully, the society is moving to a better place where there are less racial divides and people (especially younger people) are seeing people for who they are and not for any pre-jedgement based on the color of their skin. But there is unfortunately still plenty of racism out there and inventing a dynamic where certain people can use a hateful word in a playful sense and others can’t doesn’t do any good for society. Adopting the word “nigga” as something black culture “can own” may have had some kind of good intentions, but it just presents more problems. Causally spouting the hateful term in public is offensive to others around them, including other black people, so let’s just acknowledge that it’s a stupid idea.

      • The fact that you can even seriously have the thought the “Nigga” has a non racial context speaks volumes about how ignorant some people in America are. Given your perspective, perhaps Solange is one of them.

  3. The kind of music Solange and Blood Orange do isn’t really my thing but think about it this way… with female pop singers in particular, people tend to assume they should give all the credit to the producer and just regard the singer as a vessel for somebody else’s music. If it was an equal creative partnership, I imagine it’d be frustrating to open up magazines and see your producer and co-writer called the genius behind your work and the man who launched your career. I don’t think Hynes himself has been playing that way but that’s been the tone of a lot of his press.

  4. This is sad

  5. Some things never seem to fucking work.

  6. Solange & Dev both suffer from the same problem as far as I can tell, described aptly by resident Prince-wannabe Dev: “I’m doing myself. Ain’t nothing to do with anyone else, I’m about myself, like any self respecting human should be. We live & die alone.” Unlike Prince, who understood that most good pop music (particularly R&B) combats that last sensation and that the artist should personify his music, Dev & Solange seem to have fallen victim to their own egocentric social-media assemblies and reduced THEIR music to a basis for petty “beefs”. No doubt Prince looked out for himself but he didn’t flaunt it. These two take turns.

  7. Settling arguments over Twitter is always smart and totally productive.

  8. I give their beef an F

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