Māori hip-hop sensation Kings is helping to raise awareness and money for mental health with the release of his latest single
With more than 10 million streams for his music the hip-hop artist is using his platform and single R.I.P to touch the subject close to his heart.
“The song itself is just a letter to myself when I was in that position,” Kings told Te Karere.
“I’m thankful I haven’t thought that way in a long time, but it’s taken a long time and I still feel that way sometimes. But it’s not to the point where I want to action it if that makes sense.”
Kings has partnered with mental health advocate Mike King and a percentage of the song’s profit will go to the Key To Life charity.
“Writing from a pretty depressive state and I had to go back and had to tap into that when I wrote and that’s always tough. Man there’s tears and there’s a line in there where I say I wish I could turn back time.”
Māori men are still disproportionately represented in the country’s latest suicide statistics.
“What was crazy the majority of them are male. The majority of them are 15 to 24 and the majority of them are Māori and Pacific Islanders.
“So, for me that was what kind of made me decide to write R.I.P.”
Kings song is a statement to all men to break the stigma of remaining silent.
“I think that’s the main kōrero. A lot of our men, especially in our culture, we’re taught to assert ourselves, to be a certain way, to be tough - my advice to anyone to be vulnerable, to not be scared we are proud we are a dope race, we're a dope people to step into that light and to be dope requires a bit self-love.”
Kings hopes that the lyrics of the song touch the hearts of those going through depression as well as raising awareness.