Solange and Dev Hynes Give Us a Stunning Cover of Nina Simone’s ‘To Be Young, Gifted and Black’

Over the weekend, Solange and Dev Hynes publicly reunited for the first time since their Twitter feud two years ago, with Dev joining Solange for her set at FYF Fest. The performance didn’t go as smoothly as Solange hoped, but it included an important cover of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” the song Nina Simone wrote nearly 50 years ago in memory of her friend Raisin in the Sun playwright Lorraine Hansberry, whose uplifting tribute to black-girl magic became the bedrock for the civil-rights movement when Donny Hathaway later popularized the song. Monday night, Solange shared intimate footage of herself rehearsing the song with Hynes, Moses Sumney, and soul trio King. It’s about as meditative as Donny’s version was, with each singer keeping an ear to the past to take turns replicating that old soul. They’re practically whispering Simone’s lyrics, and her empowering message falls off each of their lips effortlessly; Solange has never sung better. “I’ll probably cry every time I see or think about this,” she said of the rehearsal. We’ll have chills for days.

Solange Covers ‘To Be Young, Gifted and Black’