B A P T I S M

by KiNG

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about

B A P T I S M is Los Angeles based artist, KiNG's debut album in which she incorporates her love for poetry and music in one medium. B A P T I S M is her attempt to understand heartbreak, blackness, patriarchy, grief, joy, and self love. In doing so, she "comes from the mud clean" into the newfound woman and artist that she is today.

credits

released August 15, 2016

Thank you to: Billy Burke, Niki Black, and Amanda Lipski for consistently lending your talents, your ears, and your musicality to something that became more than a project - it became a rebirth and a newfound healing.

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about

KiNG Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles. 22. Petty Ass Poet. Community Builder. Intellectually Ratchet. Perpetually "in my feelings."

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Track Name: KiNG feat. Niki Black - Confession On Black Love (pt 1)
My mom warned me
loving a black man
is choosing to
love the bait inside
a lions den

Implied it is
against natural
selection or
evolution for
me to choose
the thing that
proves it will
only keep dying

It is Valentine's Day
When Allen loses his phone
And I remember that
as beautiful and black
with hazel eyes
and the quick widd it
way he can code switch
It will never stop a
police officer from deciding
he can play God in Oakland

And there is already
a riot brewing there

A silent genocide
renamed gentrification

but I know
it won't stop
a loud murder
from happening

And I know I don't
want to be my mother's
daughter, a lesson on
how fear of my own blackness
can hollow me a fake full

But I cry on Valentine's Day
Let my friends think I'm
being "that needy girl"
And maybe this is
a kind of neediness
I never wanted to
know I possessed

I am crying
not because
I don't trust him
but because I don't trust
other people around him
Because I've seen how
a cop's siren turns wolf music
How a cop's siren becomes
a beast awakening
I am terrified of him
becoming a silver platter
With skin proving
he is the son of a crow
yet he is still so
unapologetically joyful
singing every negro spiritual

He is the first black man
I chose to love after
trying to find survival
in white men
because my mother
taught me that was
the easiest way for
my future children
to escape a
Hell's unleashing

She convinced me I was
a science experiment
50% white
50% black
Hypothesis: If
my daughters
granddaughters
great granddaughters
Fuck enough white men
into new generations
will we be safe?
will natural selection
be a rule that finally
doesn't apply to us?
will a bullet forget to
hunger for our skin or our name?

I chose loving him
as spitting in the face
of a God that still lets
this kind of trauma be normal
I said "fuck you" to science
when I kissed him
Said: "here let me be
bait inside the den
since my father made
me a half lion anyways
I know I can make it
out better alive than you"

And why does love
or blackness or both
always have to be about
making it out alive?

Why does knowing
he could become a disappearing
act turn me into a field of fire?
I would become so angry with him
if he went more than 6 hours
without talking to me

Called it everything
but I just don't want to
get that phone call
where you become another
chalk lined Angel on
another street corner left
for the vultures picking

Baby, none of this
was irrational

Can you understand that
maybe I just imagine religion
and science play chess in
the sky and I need to know
you are not their pawn today

I need to know that
you are still here
And you are
still black
And you are
still breathing today
I need to know
that my mom -
I just wanna know
that my mama
was wrong about
all of this, Allen

I just need to know
that my mom was
wrong about this
about all of this
But Imma sing
Imma sing
with him
Imma sing
Imma sing
with him
Track Name: On Healing
I have written
one poem
about my rape
and it is the only
3 minutes I give
myself the grace
to be a victim

Have not spoken
about the healing
3 years later
because I am still
waiting for it to arrive

Still waiting for my
body to make a flood
of itself and cleanse
him from me but
He is always
here with me
because
he is the reason
I found this stage
so, how can I
be mad right?

Just like
how can
ugly girl
Turned
pretty girl
be mad for
finally being
wanted
by unwanted
teeth?

So I
Pretty girl
stay mad at myself
for protecting
heavy handed boy
The only poem I've
written about that night
is the one about
my mother
blaming me
the morning after

So I hang on a cross
Play a good Christ
like boy always
wanted me to
Listen as everyone
calls it wisdom or
selflessness
or whatever the fuck
sounds good that day

Most nights,
I sip from
a goblet
of grief
rename it
communion
But it's really a
wound healing
and reopening

So this is the poem
where I'm going
to be the victim
Where I say
I still don't got
my shit figured out
That I still fuck
instead of make love
And I almost loved
an Oakland man once
But was so scared
of how his flesh
could burn against
a pillar of ash
So I made up excuses
but truth is,
I'm terrified of
making someone
as broken as me
Truth is
I'm terrified
of being like
the man who
broke me

And I am still a
healer somehow
in all of this
But no one seems
to ask the prophet if
she is tired of being
used to only give hope
to everyone but herself

I am trying to
give myself hope
but sometimes
It's just me
Ignoring the same
Oakland man who
asks if I'm being
patient with myself
because I know
I am not being
patient
with myself

Jenny begs me
in a therapy session
to name my
uncomfortable
feelings but it feels
too much like boy
moving inside me
uncomfortably
so sometimes
I tell myself
to stop being the victim
meaning 2013
never happened
meaning I can forget
My mother calling me
an open door to violence

I blame myself every day
then call it baptism
in a desert
because healing
is a dull knife
and my hands
get tired of carving
So instead
I tattoo my whole body
Call it a meditation on grief
Wrap myself in "don't you
dare fucking touch me cuz
can't you tell I know how
to make pain permanent?"

This morning
I crawled out of bed
Wanted to flood my
bathroom and say
he finally left me
Realized I couldn't
call my own mother
cuz she's just a
voice mail now
Realized I am more
woman than I have
ever wanted to be
Realized that womanhood
Means learning to survive
A witch hunt into morning
I never let myself rest
I never let myself cry
Just keep fighting
bloodhounds
unleashed
against my skin
And I keep running
I keep running
The only solace
I find in this is
that my feet
still don't tire
And I guess
this has to
mean something
today.
Track Name: KiNG feat. Niki Black - Safe
Tell me I'm safe here
You ain't gotta some where
I'll tell you you're safe here
You ain't gotta go no where

You ain't gotta love me
You ain't gonna love me

Tell me I'm safe here
You ain't gotta some where

I press my forehead
to yours
on a dimly lit street
I am a jealous girl
And you,
a foolish boy
Tonight,
we ache inside cocoons
I grow wings to prove
I can be a forgiving woman
You do the same
to show just how
understanding you are
But we
are just two children
with these knives in our backs
And flowers in our hands
This is a portrait of
how the wounded trust
I don't know when
I chose to give you
my spirit but I know
I get mindless when
I want to be loved
Ask everyone to lasso
the moon down for me
so I don't gotta howl so often
But you lassoed the moon
in your smile - I know it
was only for one night
But baby,
It was enough to last
me for a century
I wanted you to teach me
Baptism into filth
How I could still come
from the mud clean and
I never need the
preacher in you
to teach me how
to survive myself or
this kind of love
I just
always wanted
to be seen fully by you
So I kissed your shoulder
Like it was the
most honest prayer
I never expected anything from you
Except that we could unlearn
how a body can drown
I never expected anything
except you looking at
my broken knuckles saying
Ok, I am still here
You brave child I am still here
and no one is going
to devour the child of faith
inside you today

Tell me I'm safe here
You ain't gotta some where
I'll tell you you're safe here
You ain't gotta go no where

You ain't gotta love me
You ain't gonna love me

Tell me I'm safe here
You ain't gotta some where

So stay
Please tell me you'll stay
Don't you leave me like this tonight
You used to feel so right
Track Name: KiNG feat. Niki Black - Flame
Anna calls me a big woman
Big woman with Big heart
Big personality and talent
Something most men will not
know what to do
except shrivel at how I hold
myself like a monument

I speak to my father for the
first time in 3 months
He knows what an altar
I've made of my body
with tattoos - speaks of
how every man will come
to realize they have something
to lose when I've lost and
found everything already

Ex lover Names me
a scary thing for how
sacred my grounding is
Confesses his spine
origamid into a
question mark to the
point he didn't know
how to step into the
man of himself
Blames the timing this time
And it's always timing
with the boys like this

The boys like this who silently
beg of me to be more shallow
than a raging ocean - I guess
it's an easier way to control
drowning in all of me
And There is always another
woman looming and she is
the simple one - the one who
makes all my "bigness" look "difficult"
She, starving for their palms
Makes the men see how I sit
full at my own table,
with my kind of self love

And she always "Doesn't matter"
Yet here all the shes are here
in this poem so I guess they do matter
Because the shes become a
touchstone so I'm not a shadow
the men have to admit they
will never catch up with

I am both suffering and healing
What a terrifying thing
that makes me -A pile of bloody organs
who doesn't shy away in the face
of vultures flocking - A monument
with knife in one hand and
dandelion stem in the other
How horrific it is that I know I
can't be conquered in all
my savage mercy - How I only
smile now when I watch each
man cower like a child before Goliath

Hold up,
Wait a minute now
Got this shit fucked up somehow
On my knees
Begging please
You ain't a god
That's gonna do me right
So
I, I, I'm

Gonna be a
Bad bitch
Holy like a bible story
You a fucka just calling
saying I'm sorry

You a match
I'm a strike
Gonna burn
you down tonight
Cuz

I
I
Be a flame
I
I
Be a flame
I
I
Be a flame

You are just the
You are just the

Ashes
in my backseat
Heard you got
a new bitch named
Ashley
Tell me
Does she do it like me?
That's right there ain't
no other KiNG cuz

You be forgettin
How I let you leave me
Broke and bleeding
and I ain't got no reason
In the wild now
You in denial how
Imma Imma be
Imma Imma be

Gonna be a
Bad bitch
Holy like a bible story
You a fucka just calling
saying I'm sorry

You a match
I'm a strike
Gonna burn
you down tonight
Cuz

I
I
Be a flame
I
I
Be a flame
I
I
Be a flame

Ashes to Ashes
Dust to Dust

Ashes to Ashes
Dust to Dust
Track Name: On Beyonce's Lemonade
Beyoncé is
Redbone
Voodoo magic

Drowns a
police car
in Katrina
waters
then asks
who the fuck
Gon stop me

She,
A Black
Bill Gates
In a
Yellow dress
Making
the most
political ass
statements
To the most
ratchet
ass beats
And the gospel
can’t help but
Say YAS Queen
And amen
And
Bellow like
Jonah trapped
inside white whale

And
#lemonade
Might as well
be renamed
“Ripped from
The belly of
The beast”
and the
beast
Be
white
America
The beast
Be
Eurocentric
beauty standards
The beast
be
every time
We been
called
too black
Too hood
Too click trigger
pull thrust with
our tongues
Yet
The beast
be that
one fool
who wears
I mean steals
All our Culture
then
Calls us
Monster
Thug
Uneducated
Improper

Beyonce
is Redbone
Voodoo
Magic

Resurrected
all the 8 year old
shame I had for
my blackness
and said
Honey
You betta
slay
Said honey
Them haters
Be corny
Said honey
They can’t ever believe
It when a black woman
be on her grown shit
When a black woman
got all her own shit
So they make up
the illuminati
As if we
can’t be magic
As if we
can’t wreak havoc

I wore all
Black today
As a god
Damn protest

Today
I am the March

Today
I am
Black life
mattering

Ain’t no
Becky with
Good hair
Gonna Put some
extra beads
around my waist
and practice self care
And Sway my
hips as I walk
to The Queens
two step
I ain’t afraid
of all this bounce
and savage I got
in one stride

And hell yes
I Packed hot sauce
in my backpack

Got spells in
my napsack

Trust imma take
my man to red lobster
The second
his ass gets back

Trust mama
I am viciously black

I am proud and black

I Be
ghetto
Ratchet
And Intellectual
Ain’t got no
college degree
But I’m way
ahead of your mental
And I been in formation
waiting for the nation
to pray I catch em whispering
pray they catch me listening
to the sound of my freedom
I been breaking these chains
training to reclaim my
crown inside of masters house

Lemonade
be a siren song
the call to prayer
asking for no eulogies
saying This shit right here
will be till kingdom come

Till the water turns to wine

Till the world is swallowed
by the god damn flame of us

Till you
realize
We Are
Here
And
We are
Black
And we are
woman
And godly
And ain’t
fucking sorry
For we have
always
been slaying
And slaying
And slaying
And did I
mention
Slaying?
Track Name: Seasons
I will walk with you
into this next season
Teach you how to bloom
for sometimes we forget
what a garden our bodies can be
We found spring inside
each other's mouths in April
I want to love you like
April will always be on rewind
I want to love you
however you let me
Sweet man,
Lay your burden
against my soft
You build statues
to your flaws
and I just want to
make a museum out of you
Give you my eyes
so you can see
what glory I behold

See…

We're just a preacher's son
and Jezebel daughter
We don't gotta carry
every cross that's
too heavy for our spines
So let us be held hostage by joy
We can be an exhale of relief
We can be exhale and relief
We can be the gasp after
too long of a drowning
We can just be us
Two butterflies
that don't know
ache no more

Baby,
I just want
to watch you
fly into a new beginning
I can't protect you from
every storm but I will
teach you how
rainwater
means growth
I will show you
what my
grandmother
taught me
of healing
and what
the word safe
means when
I look into
your eyes
We will
flood the sin
out of this
entire bed

Mike,
This is the baptism
into filth I was talking
about - our last
lesson on
forgiveness
and self love
So just come
from the mud clean
with me - every season
you will wear a
crown of thorns
I will hold a glass
of wine - this love,
will be nothing
but the holiest
of communions
in both our names
Track Name: Hurricane (In Honor of Trayvon Martin)
It has been four years
since he tried to etch
the midnight out of your skin
Mistook your hoodie for a bullseye
Thought if he hit you red
Then you'd be less black
Less boy
More thing to throw
to arctic wolves in a hashtag
And I am so tired
of reading these poems
I'm tired of writing
these poems too
Of how your name
feels like tongue
to concrete still to me
Trayvon,
you are gone
but it still feels
like all the air is
escaping this room
this country
Something in our teeth
must been made of stone
because we swallow all of them
and they fall the pits of our stomachs
every time as we cry out your name
and still we try to move forward
but still it feels like being wedged
between a rock and a hard place
and some of us choose
to stay still because of this
and the stillness becomes silence
and the silence turns into a noose
But I promise
I won't the djembe drum in the
back of my throat forget its
sheet music when my voice does
Your name
Still be my riot, Trayvon
Still be all my revolution and revelation

And someday,
I promise we will be seen as golden
Someday,
black boys can be more than just
black and boy
Our mouths won't be slapped
as if we are bruised fruits
in need of devouring and disposal

Trayvon,
somewhere
there is a flood coming
A hurricane with your name on it
And I'm not sure if it's
going to be entirely peaceful
And to be honest
I'm not sure if it should be

The water is rising
Our faith is swimming
The pain is sinking
But we're still breathing (x4)

Trayvon,
a hurricane's coming
with your name on it
your name on it

Trayvon,
a hurricane's coming
with your name on it
Your name on it