Who: Wake Self
Age: pretty old
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Recent Projects: Malala (2016)
Songs to Check Out:
Coming out of another state many Americans forget about is Wake Self, one of the main driving points in the Albuquerque rap scene over the last decade. He’s been around for a while but is just now getting his recognition, with his songs and albums finally hitting over 1-10 thousand views consistently. His relaxed delivery and deep voice work well with his mellow, politically themed sound.
The jazz and soul influences are very clear in Wake’s music, and that can be seen from his work with local soul artist Miles Bonny (who, if you’re into that type of music, definitely check out). You’ll see a good deal of piano and slower beats in his music that allow him space to tell a story or make a point. You won’t find him out talking about picking up hoes or getting fucked up on the weekends, but you also won’t find him preaching with the condescending tone you see out of artists like Hopsin, etc. I’d compare him to another nearby Southwest artist, Sincerely Collins, in terms of style. Sincerely is a bit more energetic in both delivery and production, but there is definitely a similarity in message and overall tone of the two. The Southwest is an area that is actually surprising ubiquitous in terms of the sound of rappers that are getting recognition right now (at least, from an outside perspective).
Wake Self has been in the game long enough to know how difficult it is to be moving up on the scene. This all being said, political rap is his game, and the current climate in America is definitely giving him plenty of material to write about. I’m sure y’all dukes will be seeing his name in the news soon with a political rap piece soon. He’s already done a couple of tours around America and Europe and just hasn’t made it on a huge scene yet. I’d look for him to start approaching his state on a bigger scale this year.