The New Mexico hip-hop community suffered an unimaginable loss on November 5, 2019, when Andrew "Wake Self" Martinez was killed by a drunk driver. The seasoned emcee/community activist was only 30 years old at the time of his death and was preparing the launch of his sophomore album entitled Ready To Live. He was scheduled to headline a show at Santa Fe's Meow Wolf for a release party to unveil his album but unfortunately, he never got the opportunity to do so and instead, his family and close friends have dedicated their time to make sure the project is heard.
The 11-track body of work follows Wake Self 's personal journey while showing us his flaws, shortcomings and much more. On the standout "Love Myself", he questions mankind's various nonsensical prejudices and insecurities, with contrasting tracks like "God" tackles spirituality and search for something greater than what is known. Subjects vary on tracks like "Swallow Me" that gives us a gripping insight into a toxic relationship Wake Self is neck-deep in and can't seem to escape from, and "Sober," that explores the inner demons that come with alcohol dependency.
Ready To Live is produced by Wakeself's longtime collaborator, friend, confidante and self-described "advice giver" Smoke M2D6, who laces the emcee with lush and vibrant backdrops that range from trap-infused energetic bangers to down-tempo solemn tunes. The project runs deep with a lot of personal experiences and stories from the late rapper who puts his all from start to finish.
Alongside the release of the album comes the video for Wake Self's posthumous single "No Vacancy" that was conceptualized by Noor-Un-Nisa Touchon and directed by Alec Brown. The duo puts a New Mexican spin on a classic mobster tale that follows Wake, who was all about his red, green and Christmas chile, on a mission to get the best stuff around, rounding out an album and drawing a full picture.