WAKE is an experimental, non-profit, hip-hop collective based out of Atlanta, GA. In 2013, WAKE dropped their melodic, dark, debut EP entitled SEEDS. Back again, the ATL noisemaker trio have just released their first single We Are Kings Eternal from their first full length, Strangers in a Strange Land, to be released on September 4th.
Their sound is atypical – some would say experimental, with lyrics that are no holds barred and socially provocative. Production wise, the group is driven by several genre’s and has elements of Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday vibe with an edgy rock influence. All the elements of hip-hop are there, the beats, the rhymes…life. However, it’s coming from a through the looking-glass perspective – tuned to a different frequency if you will.
We got in touch with WAKE Dj/Vocalist Obeah, who is also a member of Dj Lord’s 2much Posse to tell us about his crew and this one of a kind project.
Obeah, who are the members of WAKE and how would you describe this group?
The members of WAKE are myself, Keith William, and Matt Borland. Thus far, Keith has made all the beats and is also one of the emcees. I rap and do all the scratches and Matt’s contributions are really only live at this point. He’ll have more contribution on the next album. This song ‘We Are Kings Eternal’, is one of the more straight forward and sample based songs on the record.
What kinds of equipment do you guys use to make music?
Live, Keith uses Ableton and a KP3 Kaos Pad for vocal effects. Matt also runs ableton. I use a TC Helicon for vocal effects and run my turntable and mixer through a Pioneer effects processor. The music is pretty psychedelic and effected.
The group has an interesting dynamic. Keith started it and his whole idea was for there to not be any defined members or boundaries. Mainly because Keith had a bunch of friends he wanted to collab with, but couldn’t necessarily count on them to be full-time members, so he created this group. The third rapper on the track is named Adam too. He goes by AD. He will be on two songs on the album. He’s one of three guest vocalists on the album, but could be considered a member as well. Just not as involved.
We also are heavily influenced by punk values. We don’t have any intention of profiting off this music. So, everything we release will be free and if it does cost money, it will be to cover expenses and the rest would go to charity. We also are not in a position to tour because Keith has two young children to take care of. So, the only out-of-town shows we could do would be one offs.
What can we expect from ‘Strangers in a Strange Land’?
The album ‘Strangers in a Strange Land’ is a concept album based on the Robert Heinlein novel called ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’. It’s about a human who was born on a convoy to Mars and all of the humans died except him. He was raised by Martians on Mars and then when he was an adult was rediscovered by humans and brought back to Earth. But he doesn’t understand the perspective of humans or how they communicate or why they are so violent and stupid. This album is inspired by that perspective and starts out more light-hearted and gets pretty dark by the end before the final song, ‘Smoke Under the Tongue’, serves as a stoic outro.
Follow WAKE at