Dev Hynes, also known as Blood Orange, stopped by Conan on Tuesday to perform “St. Augustine” and a version of “Thank You” in remembrance of recent murder victims Terrence McCrary Jr., Philando Castile and Hande Kader.
Hynes sat centerstage at a white piano as a pair of dancers moved on either side of him. He began by playing keys with one hand while acting out lyrics with the other. The dancers vanished as Hynes segued into a rendition of “Thank You,” emerging from behind the piano to rap over the track.
Both songs, which were released in June on Freetown Sound, Hynes’ third album as Blood Orange, contain references to black men who have been murdered. “Tell me, would you lose your love?” Hynes asks in “St. Augustine.” “Cry and birth my deafness/ While Trayvon falls asleep.” His rap during “Thank You” includes the line, “Crying for Eric Garner and Philando Castile.”
The performance ended with Hynes on one knee next to three photos of recent murder victims — Terrence McCrary Jr., who was killed in Oakland this month, Philando Castile, killed by a police officer in July in Minnesota, and Hande Kader, a transgender rights activist killed this month in Turkey.
Blood Orange live tonight on Conan O Brian RIP T Mack RIP Philando Castile RIP Hande Kader ??? pic.twitter.com/nFskBibc8w
— Devonté Hynes (@devhynes) August 23, 2016