Considering Mac Miller just released an album titled The Divine Feminine, which really focused more on the female gender as an array of sexual objects more than anything else, Wake Self’s video for “Malala” comes at the perfect time.
Overflowing with insightful social commentary and distinctive rhyme patterns, “Malala” (named after Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai), breaks the mold with its message against misogyny, a brave venture for a genre that so often glorifies objectification. The single comes from Wake’s full-length of the same name, which was released in August of this year.
“To me, real Hip Hop respects women,” Wake Self tells DX. “The world is out of balance. We are all affected by a history of objectification and gender inequality. Our pop culture and entertainment industries have accepted the degrading of women, and it’s marketed and sold to us. For anything to change, we must respect life. The lack of respect for women is an issue for all humankind, not just women. Our mothers, daughters, sisters and earth are sacred.
“We need to create an open dialogue, and begin to change our belief structures,” he adds. “Then our world will follow. This song was made in faith that we can and will change, we can and will create brighter days. Hip Hop music is for all people and is about being free—freedom from oppression, hate, and limitation. We must break the walls and be the ones to save us.”
From the call-to-action of “Change the World” featuring Blackalicious’ Gift of Gab to the undeniably powerful title track, Malala retains its original content throughout the 15-song effort. The album also boasts production by Oldominion’s SmokeM2D6 (excluding “Keep On” produced by Bles Infinite), which lends it a sonically consistent feel.
Paired with sizable contributions from New Mexico-based multi-instrumentalist Miles Bonny, Belgium artist Blu Samu, partner-in-crime Def-i, vocalist Alia Lucero, Dre Z, and of course, Gift of Gab, Wake’s atypical observations on the world prove Malala is precisely what is missing in Hip Hop’s often vacuous landscape.
Malala is available here.