You Can Finally Read Julian Casablancas and Dev Hynes’s Uncensored Conversation on Racism

This is a must-read.

Earlier this week, Oyster published a lengthy interview between Strokes front man Julian Casablancas and Dev Hynes. Their conversation spanned everything from their thoughts on Prince and Smash Mouth to the trouble with singing, but that’s not all they discussed. According to a Tumblr post from Hynes, who broke his moratorium on social media to speak out, the magazine “cut everything to do with race and my past.” Even worse, Hynes says the only reason they agreed to give Oyster the interview is because another unnamed publication would only post an edited version, something Oyster allegedly said it wouldn’t do. Oyster has since removed the interview, but today Casablancas shared the entire uncensored transcript on his own site, while also revealing it was originally planned for Interview.

The conversation shifts from music to race when Hynes asks Casablancas about how racism has affected his own life, via his black stepfather, the artist Sam Adoquei. To offer his own perspective, Hynes then begins to list instances of racial profiling, police brutality, and casual racism he says he experiences at least twice a day — “on a good day” — including an especially grueling 24 hours:

“There was a time I got illegally arrested in Miami like 2 years ago. They busted some club for not having a liquor license, but I was outside, I wasn’t inside. And they were going inside and wouldn’t let people in … I said ‘Look man, I need to get my stuff and I’m just gonna like leave. I have a flight back to New York in the morning.’ And he was like ‘That’s it!’ Hand cuffed me around the back, threw me in the back of the car and then left me in the car for 4 hours and I couldn’t do anything. And at one point, this is the scary moment: An officer came and opened the door and bent down to me and was like, ‘Hey man, it’s probably best if you just don’t say anything and um it should be cool …’ and closes that door. And I was thinking ‘WHAT!? That doesn’t make me feel good!’ You’re telling me to be quiet because the guy you work with is insane? What the fuck!?! It was so crazy.

Then the next day, there was a mural of the Miami Heat. I’m not really a Miami Heat fan but I wanted to take a picture in front of it to send to my friends. So I’m standing there, my friend has a camera. There are some people there taking pictures ahead of us. two girls and two dudes. Whatever. It’s 11 am and they’re taking pictures. Maybe 5 yards away. Then the girl, they’re all white, the girl then goes, ‘take a picture of me, I can’t wait to show my friends a picture of me and all these niggas!’ And she’s standing there. And then the guy and i were like ‘Are you done?’ And they walked away.”

After hearing Hynes’s devastating accounts of racism, Casablancas had this to say: “I’m so sorry man. I apologize on behalf of white people, we’re the worst. I’m just. I don’t know. How to atone is the question. I don’t understand why there is any kind of question about reparations and all that. It seems like such a no-brainer.” For more of Hynes’s work on race, listen to his and Solange’s take on Nina Simone’s “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” as well as his meditation on the shooting in Charleston.

Julian Casablancas and Dev Hynes Talk Race