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May 2018 - Cover Story: Wake Self

Wake Self; Photography by M.T. West

The field of rap has evolved since its inception back in the late 1970’s. However, new artist Wake Self follows the rules of the old school - write about your environment. Wake may be a young man, but he has a big voice and a following that is loving the message. Promoting the release of his new video, Wake sat down with us to discuss his inspirations in music, the message behind his single “It Won’t Go Away,” and continued goal to be a voice for social change.

Where did your inspiration come from, when it comes to music?

Wake: For me, it never turns off. A lot of people talk about writer’s block and having their moments. For me I’m just an observer of the world in general. Everything I do I’m inspired by.

So you used that inspiration when Parkland happened. Do you remember where you were when it happened?

W: In the studio. That’s where I am when everything goes down. In the studio or on the road. I was just trying to reflect on things that were happening. I noticed that the majority of fans I noticed are younger kids. Older aged people don’t want to support newer stuff. I think throughout my career, my name has a conscience ring to it. Basically if you listen to my stuff I’ve always had that overtone of social, emotional, spiritual, mental evolution of bringing up issues. But I think lately I just decided to jump into it more. I think it was the fact that I wasn’t happy so I started to create happy songs to counterbalance what I was going through.

“It Won’t Go Away” is about awareness. It grabs you. Where did the concept come from.

W: It started first that i just wrote something. Often times things just come into our field of feelings, whatever you use to create. I just end up write about things happening in the world. Initially I was just going to rap it on my phone and put it out online, but I liked the way it turned out and I felt it could be something that I wanted to put more attention into and just put it together in a more concise way and I thought ‘Man wouldn’t it be cool to get some kids in this video.’ I thought about Bernalillo High School and that’s where we filmed it at.

When hip hop first started it was about discussing what’s happening on the street and it’s refreshing that hip hop artists are coming back to what it’s originally based on and you definitely have that.

W: I just think they want to make money. When people find something they can make money off of, it definitely changes. I was reading these facts about the music industry and one of the major companies they own, Time Warner and Viacom. The people that have the largest stock in that company also has the largest stock in prisons, which blew my mind.

You’re taking your music and applying it to a cause. You took part in the March for our Lives event on March 24th, tell us what that experience was like?

W: It was beautiful. I go to a lot of marches but I feel that the songs I make is made for those type of stages, so to be there with the kids that was cool. I was just blown away by everything they were doing. Their organizational skills and the speeches that they wrote were amazing. I was proud of the kids and just happy to be there.

What upcoming performances do you have coming up?

W: I’m doing a few shows with Dead Prez, so we might be bring them out here [to New Mexico]

What message do you want to give those to students that wonder if they are going to walk out of school when they get there?

W: It’s tough because this country is in decay on so many levels and I feel we have to be the new flowers and seeds, new vegetables to grow out of that decay. We have to use this system breaking down as our compost to grow a new future and that being said I think it’s important that the kids just stay unrelenting. I think right now it’s just inevitable, there’s no other choice. Think about all the different movements around the world and in America, especially with the internet. The internet is such a double sided sword, but the way that it pierces us in such a positive way is the fact that now our movements can just go viral and they can share this information so fast. It’s just so important to inject youth into these movements. You have people who have still been fighting in their 60’s and 70’s and they can offer some sort of guidance to the new energy and the new energy can springboard people who have the know-how. I don’t think nobody knows exactly how it’s gonna get done...but we have ideas that we know change something. So we need to come up with new scenarios and implement it. We gotta keep the pressure on.

tWitch Cover Story
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