“If Giver Taker was an album of prayers, The King is an album of curses.” Anjimile won the world over with the clear-eyed honesty of their first record – a meditation on spirituality and liberation. In 2019 he recorded Giver Taker, a collection of songs written while getting sober in Florida. Giver Taker was critically adored – Rolling Stone Magazine deemed it one of the best 50 albums of 2020. Since Giver Taker’s release, Anjimile tested new material on the road while opening for artists like Jose Gonzalez, Tune-Yards, and Hurray for the Riff Raff. In his sophomore album, The King, he continues exploring what it means to be a Black trans person in America. The brutally honest reflection of 2020’s deadly summer is less reminiscent of the pink cloud of early sobriety and more rooted in the reality of seeing brutality with clear eyes.
“The King” is deeply steeped in the confusion, grief, and rage of being Black in America. Anjimile pushes back against the tired adage, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” hissing, “What don’t kill you almost killed you// What don’t fill you//pains you// drains you.” Anjimile says, “At the end of the day, I might feel hopeless, but I don’t feel alone. I don’t feel alone in my Black rage, my suffering, my depression. There’s something sacred about being a part of this tradition of Black artists channeling this.”
The King is an invitation into this tradition.