16: A Poem by BAYLI for Black History Month

Boys Lie - BAYLI
Boys Lie - BAYLI

This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.


Today, Brooklyn based up-and-comer BAYLI shares her poem “16” as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. A fresh face on the city’s scene, BAYLI emerged in 2017 as the frontwoman of heavy rock and soul band The Skins, who released their major label debut EP Still Sleep in December 2016 with Republic Records and toured the US the following year with labelmates DNCE as a part of their North American winter leg. She
Signed as a songwriter to Warner Chappell, BAYLI has written tracks for artists including Duckwrth and Blu DeTiger – but it’s through her fast-emerging solo artistry that the artist has truly made her talents known to the world at large. She introduced her solo artistry in 2018 with the currently-unavailable SUMMER mixtape.
BAYLI © Charlotte Rutherford
BAYLI © Charlotte Rutherford
After honing her artistry over the past two years, BAYLI released the propulsive, sensual debut single “sushi for breakfast” in mid-March 2020 just as the world was coming to a screeching halt – yet in spite of the odds, the artist managed to break through 2020’s noise and establish herself as an undeniable presence in both the R&B and hip-hop fronts. Working under the mentorship of Rick Rubin, BAYLI’s buoyant beats and intoxicating melodies are as ready for the dancefloor as they are for the living room – a quality exemplified in her stunning sophomore single “boys lie,” which recently eclipsed a milestone 1 million streams on Spotify.
BAYLI rounded out 2020 with the songs “not safe” and “clown shit,” the latter of which received a transformative hyperpop remix from the late pop icon SOPHIE. Following a “boys lie” SEBii remix in December, BAYLI returned at the top of 2021 with her own remix of Nina Las Vegas’ uncompromising single, “Busy.” A wellspring of creative energies and musical prowess, BAYLI is an indisputably bright beacon of light to look out for as 2021 gets underway.
“While I understand that society has conditioned us to label ourselves, I’ve never been OK with the idea of limiting the potential of my work by putting myself in a box. I pull from eons of inspiration and it’s not always music. Sometimes it’s people and their stories, sometimes it’s fine art, sometimes it’s religion and spirituality. In terms of what inspired these tracks specifically, I wrote them when I was in the middle of feeling lost in myself and not being seen, heard or understood by the world around me. I wrote this material as a way to create my own world where I don’t constantly feel misunderstood. These are just stories from my life, and I hope that the vulnerability in my music brings me closer to other people around the world who might also feel misunderstood or out of place on this planet / dimension.”BAYLI (speaking to LADYGUNN, June 2020)

•• ••

16

poem by BAYLI

Only sixteen when you moved to the city
Had no degree, had to get straight to the dishes
No faith or religion
No family really
You had you kids and
You always were trying to
Teach us a lesson
‘Cause you been right through it
So, when said you loved me
Girl, I know you meant it

Everything’s special with you, shawty
Let me take the stress all off of you
‘Cause you deserve it
With everything you do
Fuck it, I’d take a shot –
I got my vest all on for you

We shooting stars but they put a wall up
Locking the door with no one to call up
But, she kicked it in
Like Loretta Lynn
Kind of big for working girl’s daughter

You been hanging on this long
If you in pain or something
Why don’t say something?

I remember how you sacrificed
Like you ain’t need no one
But, I can see you darling

Everything’s special with you, shawty
Let me take the stress all off of you
‘Cause you deserve it
With everything you do
Fuck it, I’d take a shot –
I got my vest all on for you

We shooting stars but they put a wall up
Locking the door with no one to call up
But, she kicked it in
Like Loretta Lynn
Kind of big for working girl’s daughter

We shooting stars but they put a wall up
Locking the door with no one to call up
So, she kicked it in
Like Loretta Lynn
Kind of big for working girl’s daughter

I’m looking into your eyes
I’m not your enemy, enemy
Please don’t pretend to hide love
Please don’t be scared of it

•• ••
Stream: “boys lie” – BAYLI

— — — —

Boys Lie - BAYLI

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📸 © Charlotte Rutherford

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